Bank Holiday Boy Treat: Black Pudding Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Streaky Bacon, on a Bed of Potato Rösti and Wilted Spinach, accompanied by Dijonnaise Sauce and Toasted Pinenuts
I’m not gonna lie. This isn’t a dish you can throw together on a Corrie ad break while the kettle’s boiling on a Wednesday evening. It’s a weekend dish, and probably, a bank holiday one at that. It takes a bit of doin’, but boy, is it worth it.
This dish is the male equivalent of flowers. Anybody who sees my Instagram missives will know I served it to the boyfriend a little while ago, who then proceeded to text pics of it to all his friends and parade it on Facebook for the world to see, much in the same manner that we would show off a new pair of shoes or a glistening piece of jewellery.
He was still going on about it a couple of days later, proudly showing work colleagues his lunchtime leftovers. Seriously, if the way to a man’s heart is food, this dish right here is your is a heat-seeking missile.
It’s actually much easier to make than it looks too, especially if you get a headstart the day before. Having said that, it’s probably best that you take a leaf out of a tight-rope walker’s book on this one – work step by step, without looking down
- 1 large pork tenderloin
- 1 small pack black pudding (go quality if you can)
- 2 packs (10-12) streaky bacon rashers / pancetta slices (whichever you prefer)
- 3-4 large potatoes
- 3-4 tbsp butter
- Half bag fresh spinach leaves (they reduce hugely in size when cooked)
- Handful small sage leaves
- 1 tub creme fraiche
- 2 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- Quarter cup white wine
- 2 tsps Dijon mustard
- Handful fresh pine nuts
- Sprinkle of flour
- Olive oil
Instructions: Day Before
1. Par-boil, peel and grate the potatoes and arrange on layers of good quality kitchen roll (seriously spend money here, unless picking wet soggy tissue from grated potato is your idea of fun) to dry off. Pop into the fridge with a covering of more kitchen roll overnight (mine didn’t discolour at all, as I half expected them to). There a special potato squishing machine called a ‘ricer’ apparently, for anybody who might still have such fantastically rarely needed equipment in their kitchen from the good ol’ days of 2005.
2. Lay strips of pancetta / streaky bacon on large sheet of clingfilm (see pic).
3. Lay pork tenderloin across this diagonally (so that the ends are covered with bacon) and cut long slit in the tenderloin, careful not to cut through to the other side. Pat small amount of mushed-up black pudding along the slit, careful not to overfill.
4. Sprinkle sage leaves along the centre of the tenderloin, season well and, very gently and using the clingfilm as support, roll the entire thing into something approaching a very meaty Swiss roll. The clingfilm should be wrapped tightly around the roll, and twisted at the end. Pop into the fridge and have a drink – you’ve done the hard part.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
6. Add glug of olive oil to a large oven-proof pan and place on medium to high heat. It really does have to be quite large, as even my asbestos fingers struggled to corral a spitting and sizzling roll of pork it bent around my too-small pan.
7. Take the clingfilm off the tenderloin; it should still hold its now-firm shape. Carefully lay the bacon-wrapped tenderloin seal-side down onto the hot oil. Hopefully the heat will fuse the join together and ensure the bacon rashers or pancetta slices don’t slip off. Gently turn the pork at intervals to ensure it’s gone a honey-coloured light brown all over, and then simply remove from the hob and place in the pre-heated oven, for about 25 minutes. (If, like me, you don’t have an oven-proof pan large enough to hold the slithering sizzling pork monster, simply transfer it to an oiled baking tray). Arrange a loose layer of tinfoil on top if you’re worried that the rashers will brown too quickly.
8. While this is cooking, get cracking on your rösti potatoes and sauce. The grated potatoes should now be nice and dry, meaning they’re delightfully sticky before you’ve even mentioned the b-word. Speaking of butter, melt 3-4 tablespoons of it in the microwave and drizzle into the potato mixture. Season, and with your hands form small disc-shaped patties, not too much bigger than the spatula you’ll be using, but large enough to provide a base for the pork. You’ll get about 4-5 rösti s out of the 3-4 large potatoes. Arrange on a lightly floured plate and leave sit; you’ll fry them while the pork is resting.
9. Meanwhile, bring to a low heat a small drop of olive oil on a pan and add fresh cleaned and de-stalked spinach leaves, turning regularly for just a minute or two. You want them gently wilted, not exhausted like mine in the pic are (I went to answer the door!). When you’ve removed the cooked spinach and set aside to keep warm, pop some pine nuts onto the pan and toss regularly for about thirty seconds, until they’re nicely browned. Set aside and keep warm.
10. Now for the sauce, which is actually very easy. Simply fry finely chopped shallots and garlic in a knob of butter until brown. Add quarter cup of white wine to deglaze, stirring well. Allow alcohol to cook off for a minute, then reduce heat to mid-way. Mix in 2 tsps Dijon mustard and 1 tub crème fraîche. Stir well, cooking slowly. Strain and return to pot, simmer gently. Add drop of milk if looking too thick. Strain into gravy boat before serving.
11. The pork should be about done by now – take it out and leave it to rest for at least ten minutes. This is crucial to getting that neat cut for each portion.
12. Meanwhile, bring another good glug of olive oil to medium heat on a frying pan, and gently slide in your potato rösti s. Pat down firmly and cook for about ten minutes, until it’s browned – keep a close eye on it to prevent burning. You will then need to flip it over, which you can do with a very good spatula or by sliding the rösti s off the pan onto a plate, and then back on the correct way up. Spatula and a dollop of concentration did me just fine. Cook each rösti until nicely browned and firm.
13. To serve, pop the potato rösti on the centre of the plate, layer on some wilted spinach and top with a slice of the stuffed tenderloin. Drizzle sauce and toasted pine-nuts around the outside.
14. Deliver to any important male in your life and enjoy that Christmas-morning face. In August.