Thursday, April 27, 2006

Roast Pork Filet Mignon

I have to widen my savory repertoire. Because sadly when guests come I can't just feed them dessert.

So when my parents-in-law came to visit, I looked for a simple but high-impact recipe.

This roast pork filet mignon came out well, wasn't difficult to make, and pleased our guests. At the same time, I hesitated to post the recipe. Because really, when you cook a fairly expensive ingredient, then of course the result will be good. The only credit I deserve is for not ruining this prime cut of meat. I would be truly proud of my cooking if I had taken ordinary food and made something special out of it.

But anyway, here is a tasty and easy to make dish for a special occasion. With guests around I didn't have time for well thought-out pictures, but such is the challenge of the food blog.

Recipe: Roast Pork Filet Mignon
Source: Marie Claire Recettes Vite Prêtes (with recipes by Donna Hay)

For 2 people (I doubled quantities to serve 4):

- 12 to 14 slices pancetta (or prosciutto)
I used a combination of some kind of bacon I found at the supermarket and prosciutto
- 350-400 g filet of pork
Filet mignon seems to be very long and thin. The piece I had was only about 580g but it was plenty for four people.
- 1 apple, sliced thinly
I left the skin on as the photo seemed to show it was still on, and cut out the core of the slices after slicing the apple horizontally
- 2 tspn oil
I used olive oil.
- 2 tspn sage leaves

Preheat oven to 220°C.

1. Wrap the pork meat in pancetta.

2. Place the slices of apples in an oven-proof dish and lay the roast on top. I took my largest rectangular glass dish and was barely able to fit the long thin meat in the diagonal of the dish. I'm sure it's OK to make the roast curl around if your dish isn't big enough.

3. Sprinkle with oil, sage and pepper. I added the oil after the sage to try to get the crispy sage leaves the photo in the book displayed. I also slipped a few sage leaves between the roast and the apples. I wasn't familiar with sage prior to this recipe, but I do like the scent it gives to food: a little gentler but similar to thyme?

4. Bake in the oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until the meat is cooked to your liking. The photo in the book shows a pinkish interior, which is what I achieved after 15 minutes of baking. I took a peek at 12 minutes. It's fairly easy to make a discreet slice between two bacon strips -- though maybe my slice wasn't so discreet, as I can see it in the foreground of this photo.

Update Dec. 2007: I've looked this up many times since so I thought I might as well update my post: for those of you with thermometers, you want an internal temperature of 70°C (160°F), though I think this may still be a little high as the meat continues cooking after you take it out of the oven.

5. Move to serving dish. I lifted the roast off the apples, placed the apples in a serving dish and placed the roast back on the apples in the dish.

6. Make thick slices and serve on an arugula lettuce. The book doesn't say whether to season the lettuce. I forget if I did or not. If I did, it would only have been a few drops of balsamic vinegar or lemon and a few drops of olive oil.

7. Serve roasted garlic-flavored mashed potatoes as a side dish.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
From the same source as above.

I thought the garlic flavor would be overpowering but it was quite discreet after all.

Drizzle half a head of garlic with oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until it becomes soft. Squeeze garlic out of its skin. Boil some peeled and chopped mealy potatoes, until tender. Mash the potatoes, and add butter, salt, cream and most of the roasted garlic. I don't have a tool for pureeing potatoes so I used an Italian-style food-mill, which makes very fluffy pototatoes, provide you place the disk right side up. I didn't, but was able to correct the situation without too much mess. Check seasoning, and add salt, butter or garlic as needed. I think I lengthened the mashed potatoes with hot milk.


zorra said...

Mmmh, it looks delicious.

Claudia said...

With that recipe you don't have to take a back seat. It takes quite some courage to prepare a meal with expensive ingredients! Your filet mignon really delicious!

Astrid said...

Thank you Zorra and Claudia!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but thought you might like to hear of an alternative to this recipe. A garlic confit (made by slowly cooking about 20 skinned garlic cloves in a mixture of olive and groundnut oil over a low heat for about an hour til they're soft), mashed and spread over the pork before you wrap it in the bacon gives a fantastic flavour and helps to keep the pork moist.

Astrid said...

Thank you anonymous. Your suggestion sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks great but i just need to clarigy, my oven has two options to bake wither with or without a fan, so do i turn the fan on and risk drying out the meat or do i perhaps let it cook a little longer without the fan?

Astrid said...

Hi anonymous - No idea about the fan question. I tend to use the fan for most baking, but am definitely not a roast expert, sorry!

Anonymous said...

By the way, for American cooks, note that the temperatures are in Celsius.
Preheat the oven to 430 degree F.

DUH! After 12 minutes, I stuck the thermometer in, and the gauge didn't budge.. :)

uno said...

I really like the food from france .. I will try to make this food at home

Tamboucan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tamboucan said...

The apples are a great idea as it creates a nice sauce...hard to judge how long to cook the pok thou.