Friday, 18 October 2013

Seared Pork Fillet with Creamy Mustard, Rose wine, and Mushroom Sauce

I wonder how many spectacular dishes are still out there waiting to be discovered? Back in the golden era of cooking, when Anna Pavlova wandered into a bistro and ordered dessert, or when Arnold Bennett asked whether he could 'just have an omelette', did the chefs of the day just whip something up and create iconic dishes which would last a century without getting tired - or was it something more than that?

Having spent years of my life studying recipes, menus and ingredients, I have come up with a truth - some dishes were always meant to be. Take today's recipe for instance: By taking a piece of fairly bland meat and then livening it up with mustard and wine, then letting it down with mushrooms, cream and parsley, could you ever say that these ingredients would ever be better without each other?

The answer is no. Pork fillet IS bland, but it is also sweet and tender. By juxtaposing the mustard with the cream, and the wine with the mushrooms, you can create FIREWORKS. The parsley is not just a garnish - it is a palate livener. And pretty too.

The great thing is,  not only is this dish amazing, it is amazingly easy to cook too. One pan, a brief assembly job, and a little technique and voila! Dinner on the table in  twenty minutes flat, and a round of applause from your grateful audience.

If you're not a fan of pork, you could use any meat, poultry or fish with the sauce. But why not use the pork? The Germans swear by it. ISN'T THAT REASON ENOUGH?

Don't get fooled by the luxurious look of this dish; pork fillet is as cheap a piece of meat as you'll find. This dish set me back £2.50 per serving. Utter perfection.

Serves 2


1 pork fillet, about 400g, cut into 2cm thick rounds
2 tbsps plain flour
2 tbsps sunflower oil
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of wholegrain or Dijon mustard
150ml rose wine
150ml double cream
Salt and black pepper
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Dust the pork in the flour, and in a hot pan, sear it in the sunflower oil on all sides until crusty (don't move it about in the pan too much). Remove the pork and add the mushrooms and garlic. Stew until soft. Add the mustard, wine and cream. Cook to reduce by half. Add the pork back to the pan and warm through. Season to taste. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately with a green salad and a decent bread to mop up the sauce.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sausage and Cabbage Pie

This recipe is so easy and delicious and quick that you will want to make it again and again... if only the name 'Sausage and Cabbage Pie' wasn't quite so unsexy.

Get over yourself! Call it a 'Farci Vegetable Dumpling' or a 'Stuffed Savoy Turnover' if you have to, but you MUST make this recipe - it's perfect for these chilly autumnal nights, and looks great. I'm not sure I would go so far as to make it for a dinner party, but it's certainly good enough for a night in with family or friends in front of Breaking Bad (my all-time favourite TV show ever).

Mrs Ribeye loves this dish. If I was feeling cruel, I would say that it's because she's Russian and like the rest of her countryfolk loves anything with cabbage in it. But I can't even say that now because since yesterday she got her British nationality! - which means theoretically that she is no fonder of cabbage than me. In fact, she will probably forgo most cabbage products in favour of English tea and scones (mmm I don't think so).

Having spoken to my mum, Mrs Ribeye Sr, about this recipe, she tells me she would prefer to use a beef meatloaf recipe instead of the sausage meat, and I think this is a great idea. I might even try making her version this weekend. Oh, and don't tell me what is happening in the final season of Breaking Bad - we're only up to season 3.

Check out this delicious-looking cross section of my pie - very easy to do and very easy to prepare. I reckon the whole recipe took me 45 minutes from beginning to end. Oh, and in true Potless fashion, came in at a bargain £1 per serving - as long as you are serving four people.

Serves 2 (if pigs like us) - 4 (for normal people)


1 large Savoy cabbage
500g premium sausage meat
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and black pepper

Carefully remove the six largest leaves from the cabbage and blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Place the largest leaf at the bottom of an ovenproof dish, so that when it turns out you have a beautiful tree sitting on the top of your pie (see top pic above). Then overlap the five leaves around this leaf, leaving as much overhang as possible. Quarter the remaining cabbage and blanch it in the water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and finely chop. Take half of the sausage meat and press it into a thin layer over the large leaves in the dish. Top with the finely chopped cabbage and then evenly sprinkle with the nutmeg and seasoning. Add the remaining sausage meat in another even layer over the chopped cabbage and then fold over the overhanging leaves into a neat parcel. Take a plate and press everything down, then refrigerate for a few minutes to firm up while you are preheating your oven to 200c. Bake the parcel in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the oven and turn out, Serve with mashed potato or rice We ate our with no accompaniment, cut into quarters. In our hands.