Blimey - for some inexplicable reason I've written this post in reverse order - and it already seems really long! So I'll try to keep this bit short and sweet...
After a bout of illness, and a very unhealthy Easter Weekend, I was in the mood for a decent meal. It had to involve roast meat... and avoid starchiness! Then I remembered that I had wanted to enter this month's Waiter, there's something in my... event - which this month is... pulses! It's being hosted by Jeanne, over at Cook Sister - and I think it's a great theme! Especially as I have decided to try to eat more pulses and veg!
I've came up with a pulse-otto. Yes, yes, it's kinda twee and a bit forced, but I am starving and ready to go for lunch - so just think, risotto with lentils instead of rice ;) It was actually going to include rice initially... until I forgot to buy some... So I decided to chuck in red lentils instead. It just makes it even healthier! And even pulsier - so just right for this event!
Feeds 3 - with plenty of lentils to spare!
- 600g pork tenderloin
- 150g chestnut mushrooms
- 5 cloves garlic
- 30g dried porcini, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, reserve soaking liquor
- 10 slices smoked streaky bacon
- small handful chopped flat leaf parsley
- 15 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
- Bunch spinach
- 3/4 cup red lentils, washed
- 1 tin green lentils (I used tinned - use whatever you have to hand!)
- 3/4 cup broad beans (I used frozen - use whatever you have to hand!)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 red onion
- Approx 250 ml vegetable stock
- Salt & Pepper to season
- olive oil for frying
Preheat oven to 180c (350f).
Very finely chop the chestnut mushrooms - you could do this in the food processor, but I wanted to keep some of the texture! Chop up half of the porcini mushrooms. In a frying pan, heat a glug of olive oil over a medium heat, then fry mushrooms for a few minutes until almost cooked. Add 3 crushed cloves of garlic and continue to fry for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and season to taste.
Cut the visible fat and sinew from the pork tenderloin and cut in half lengthways to open the pork out into a flat rectangle. Cover with cling film and bash a few time with a rolling pin to flatten it out more uniformly.
Lay the washed, but uncooked spinach leaves over the pork (cut off any tough stems), then spread the mushroom and tomato mix over the leaves.
Now roll the tenderloin back up so it looks like a swiss roll!
Take each slice of bacon and flatten/stretch it out. (Either with a rolling pin, or by a knife - up to you!)
Cut one slice in half and stretch over each end of the "swiss roll". (Hmm... now is when I realise I really should have taken pictures at every step!) But basically, you are kind of sealing the ends to stop the filling coming out... Now, take the remaining bacon and, starting from the edge of the capped piece, roll up the pork log in the bacon. (I'm sure I'm making this sound more difficult than it is! Think wrapping chicken in parma ham!)
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and seal the pork round all sides.
Place on a baking tray and roast in oven for 45 minutes (if using a meat thermometer, reading should be about 160c). Remove from oven, cover and leave for 10-15 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, while the pork is roasting, start making the pulse-otto!
In a deep pan, sauté the onions and red peppers until soft. Chop up the other half of the porcini mushrooms and add to the pan. Crush two cloves of garlic and add them - and the red lentils - to the pan Allow to sauté for a few minutes more.
Add the strained mushroom liquor and the stock to the pan until the lentil are covered by about an inch.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add the broadbeans and green lentils, cover and set aside.
Once the pork has rested, slice into 1cm rounds. Dish up a couple of spoonfuls of the lentil mix, top with the pork slices, and serve with roast vegetables.
Note on re-heating!
I had about a third of this left to reheat the next day. I hadn't sliced it yet, as I was concerned that the pork would dry out or become tough.
To get6 round this, I mixed up a little vegetable bouillon (fairly weak) and put it into a frying pan (about 1cm up the sides). I then sliced the remaining pork, and put it into the pan. I poached it gently for 3/4 minutes, basting to ensure the top was warmed through also. It worked well - the pork was still tender and juicy!
I had some tomatoes going spare, so sliced them in half, chucked on a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkled on some garlic salt and red chilli flakes. 10 minutes under a medium/high grill til they were just starting to collapse - yum!