Pork fillet sounds fancy but it’s an excellent budget-friendly alternative to chicken breasts. Flavoured here with fresh sage and oregano, I’ve served it with a fennel, cabbage and chicory slaw topped with blue cheese and toasted walnuts – the slight bitterness of the salad goes really well with pork.
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of any sinew
1 tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp oregano leaves, finely chopped
30g butter, plus an extra 20g, chilled and diced, to finish
60ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g fennel, finely sliced
100g white cabbage, finely shredded
2 small red chicory bulbs, leaves separated and cut in half lengthways
1 red apple, julienned
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
50g blue cheese, crumbled
20g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
2. Cut each pork tenderloin in half so you have 4 equal-sized pieces. Sprinkle them with the chopped sage and oregano, and some salt and pepper, and roll the pieces around well so they are coated on all sides with the herby seasoning.
3. Place a medium non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, then add the 30g butter. Once it’s melted and foaming, place the pork pieces in the pan and cook, turning as necessary, for 6–8 minutes until golden all over. Transfer the pan to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking the pork.
4. Meanwhile, for the salad, put the fennel, cabbage, chicory and apple into a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil, cider vinegar and mustard together to make a smooth dressing and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Pile the salad onto 4 serving plates, placing it on one side.
5. Protecting your hands with oven gloves, remove the pan from the oven and transfer the pork to a warmed plate to rest for a few minutes. Place the frying pan back on the heat and deglaze with the chicken stock, stirring and scraping up any sticky bits from the base of the pan. Add the 20g butter and swirl the pan until it is melted.
6. Slice the pork thickly, arrange on the serving plates alongside the salad and spoon over the pan juices. Scatter the blue cheese and walnuts over the salad then serve.