This recipe looks fancy pants enough to serve to friends for a Saturday night dinner, but actually isn’t particularly time consuming or tricky to make (and The Teen and The Husband absolutely love it). Consequently I need next to no encouragement to make it – so long as there’s a pork fillet in the freezer and we have some thyme in the garden then we’re never that far away from this plate of deliciousness. The hardest part is getting the pork, the sauce, your chosen veg/potatoes/whatever you feel like serving it with to the table all hot at the same time. I’d suggest that hot plates and spooning on the sauce at the last second are your friends there, or better yet get someone else to warm the places and help you dish it all up. Serves 4.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 x 450g (ish) pork fillets/tenderloin fillets
30g salted butter
4 cloves garlic, skin on
2 tbsp picked fresh thyme leaves
3 shallots, finely chopped
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp picked fresh thyme leaves
30g salted butter
750g new potatoes or potatoes of choice
A good slurp of olive oil veg stock (I use marigold bouillon)
- If you’re going to have crushed new potatoes you actually have to get them on first. Start heating your oven to 180°C (fan).
- Scrub the potatoes lightly, halve the bigger ones, then fling them into a roasting tin along with a good slurp of olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Toss to coat them in the oil then pop them in the oven and leave for 40 minutes or so, giving them an occasional shake to make sure they’re not stuck. After 30-40 minutes crush some of them lightly with the back of a fork, toss them again and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes ish (it doesn’t really matter so long as they don’t burn).
- Now on to the pork. Dry the meat with a piece of kitchen towel, trim off any gnarly looking bits and cut them in half so you have 4 equal pieces. Drizzle over the olive oil and season on both sides, turning the meat so that it’s completely coated.
- Heat a frying pan to a fairly high heat, then brown the pork all over – don’t keep moving it about or it won’t brown, just leave it alone for a minute then turn it once browned, and repeat.
- Turn the pan down a bit, add in the butter, squash the garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife, and throw them in too along with the thyme. Spoon the hot melted butter all over the pork for a couple of minutes until everything is nice and glossy and covered in buttery thyme.
- Remove from the heat, transfer the pork and garlic to a roasting tin (leave the butter in the pan) and chuck it in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the pork is cooking, return the frying pan to a medium temperature, add in the shallots, and let them bubble gently for 5 minutes or so until soft but not coloured.
- Pour in the marsala and thyme, turn up the heat, and leave to let the liquid reduce by half.
- If your oven is beeping by now, remove the pork, cover the tin with foil to keep it nice and warm and set aside for 5 minutes. If your potatoes don’t look crispy enough you can now whack the temperature right up for a final blast of heat.
- Back to the sauce – add in the hot stock, and again let it reduce by a third or so.
- Turn down the heat, and slowly add the butter piece by piece, mixing well, but not letting it boil (because it’ll split). You should have a lovely glossy sauce.
- Get someone to dish up the potatoes and your veg of choice (we had savoy cabbage and broccoli) while you cut the pork into thick slices, serve it all up and spoon over the sauce. Yummo.
Note: Mash works well with this too, as does rice, and I wouldn’t say no to some chips if offered them. Mmmm Pork with Marsala sauce and chips. Yes please!