Slow Cooked Pork is definitely the highlight of this dish, very closely followed by a burst of sweet cherry tomato and a buttery Sicilian olive. Let us not forget the rich tomato sauce with the sharp tang of lemon, earthy sage and a hint of chilli all resting on a creamy mash that is the perfect vehicle to mop up every last morsel. A perfect winter dinner party dish and one that will give you total bragging rights. Rustic in its simplicity but by no means compromising on flavour, this is an outstanding meal.
I recently made this and it was as good as it was when I first posted this recipe back in 2013. When I went to the supermarket however, parsnips were $11 a kilogram (highway robbery if you ask me). I substituted the parsnips with one large celeriac and whipped it to a smooth puree with the stick blender and it was absolutely gorgeous. It is not a vegetable that many people use but it has such an amazing earthy flavour that went so well with the zesty sauce. To peel the celeriac, I cut the knobbly ends off and then run my knife down the sides. It is best to put it in water immediately as it will oxidise and turn brown. If you prefer, normal mashed potato would also suffice.
This would be perfect in the slow cooker (6 hours on low)
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 3 Hours
$$ Medium Budget
2 tbs of olive oil
1 kg pork scotch fillet cut into four 2.5 inch pieces (like a thick, New York cut steak)
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 brown onion, halved and sliced top to bottom
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 a cup of white wine
11/2 cups of chicken stock
16 sicilian olives
1 bunch of sage leaves, 1/2 finely chopped and 1/2 set aside for garnish
400gm tin of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of yellow and red grape tomatoes (just red is fine)
1 tsp of sugar
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Serve with greens of your choice
Parsnip and Potato Mash:
500gm of cream delight potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
500gm of parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks (or celeriac as mentioned earlier)
1/2 a cup of milk
40gm of butter
Sea salt and pepper
Pre heat the oven to 160°C. To prepare the Slow Cooked Pork, heat the oil in a large heavy based casserole dish, season the pork steaks with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, in batches. When golden, remove and set aside.
In the same pan lightly fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the chilli flakes and lemon rind and fry for 1 minute before pouring in the white wine. Allow to reduce for a couple of minutes then add the lemon juice, stock, tinned tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes. Stir well and allow to come up to a simmer then pop in the olives, sage and sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper before returning the pork to the pan, juices and all. Nestle the pork down into the sauce and spoon over the sauce making sure it is all covered. Tear off a square of baking paper and tuck the pork in, pop a lid or some foil on and bake in the oven for 2.5 hours, basting occasionally. Remove the lid and baking paper for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Boil the potato and parsnip in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash then pop back on the heat before adding milk, butter, sea salt and pepper. Whip with a wooden spoon or a stick blender until thick and creamy.
To crisp up the sage leaves, heat some extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan (enough to cover the base). Add the sage leaves a few at a time and spoon the hot oil over them until they curl up and become a deep green in colour. Drain on paper towel but reserve the olive oil for drizzling as it has a beautiful, subtle sage flavour.
To plate up the Slow Cooked Pork, divide the parsnip mash between four plates and make a little dip in the centre with the back of your spoon. Very gently remove each pork steak with an egg flip (they will fall apart if you are not careful) and place on the mash. Spoon over the sauce, dividing evenly the olives and tomatoes. Top with crispy sage leaves and a drizzle of the scented oil. Enjoy!