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Another Saturday another dinner.   This week we had an early start – 5.30 am – as in New Zealand it is Anzac Day.  It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.  The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.  So this year is the centenary observance.  Every Anzac Day there is a dawn parade in just about every town in New Zealand.   Over the last 10 years or so there has been a growing number of attendees,  which is amazing given the ever decreasing number of survivors from wars that NZ has served in.  The service this year was packed with people, young and older; a great mark of respect.

So, with an early morning, it felt like dinner needed to be something substantial and tasty.  I figured Mr MWCED and Son (who is home for a little while) were probably getting sick of chicken, so decided to get a piece of pork fillet.  A cup of tea (my favourite morning drink – Madame Flavour – Green Jasmine & Pear (http://www.madameflavour.com/)  and a little surf on net, I found this recipe from a great site (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/panko_crusted_pork_tenderloin_with_dijon_cream_sauce/) and decided that was the way to go.  There were a few ingredients I didn’t have, but figured a little substitution wouldn’t be a problem (detailed in the recipe below).

Pork

INGREDIENTS

  • 600g pound pork fillet/tenderloin – or thereabouts
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk – if you don’t have buttermilk then sub with milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 to 2 Tbps) – or use a small white onion, I did
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon) – we never mince, just finely chop
  • 1 cup cream – or sub with sour cream, but will need to add more pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard – or to taste – you may like more
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • chilli paste – I added about ½ teaspoon of red chilli paste, as we don’t like very rich, creamy sauces, so this cut it a little bit

METHOD

1 Combine the marinade ingredients (buttermilk, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, salt) in a medium bowl. Remove fat and silver skin from the pork fillet. Add the pork fillet/tenderloin to the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to overnight. Remove the pork from the refrigerator an hour before you intend to cook it. If you do forget to take pork out of the fridge early, then youll probably need to cook a little longer.

2 Heat a thick-bottomed sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and slowly toast the panko breadcrumbs until golden brown. Watch these well – and stir often. Remove from heat. Stir the olive oil, salt, and pepper into the panko breadcrumbs until they are well coated.

3 Preheat the oven to 375°F of around 200 C. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place a baking rack or roasting rack over it. Place the toasted panko in a shallow bowl for dredging. Remove the pork from the buttermilk marinade and place it in the bowl of breadcrumbs. Dredge the pork in the breadcrumbs, pressing the pork firmly into the crumbs as you roll it to help the crumbs adhere.

4 Place the breaded pork on the baking rack and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or longer if the pork wasn’t at room temperature when you put it in the oven.   And time also depends on your oven, so check pork at around 40 minutes and cook longer if required.   Pork should be just pink – you’ll have to cut into it to check but it won’t matter, the crust will hide any small cuts you make. Remove the pork from the oven when done and let rest on the rack for 10 to 15 minutes while you make the sauce. (Or make the sauce while the pork is cooking – whatever fits into your schedule)

5 To make the sauce, melt a tablespoon of butter in a shallow saucepan. Add the minced shallots/onion and cook on medium heat until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more. Add one cup of cream (or substitute), the mustard, salt, and pepper to the shallots. Stir to combine and let come to a simmer. Simmer gently until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Check seasonings, and add extra now. Stir in 1 Tbsp of chopped parsley. Set aside until ready to serve. (If you need to reheat the sauce to serve and it has thickened up, loosen it with a little water while you reheat.)

6 Gently transfer the pork to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Place sauce on a serving platter and place the pork medallions on top of the sauce. Sprinkle everything with chopped parsley.   Or – place pork on a serving platter with hasselback potatoes, and serve sauce in individual pots (we do this because Mr MWCED isn’t a great sauce fan, so he likes to control his portion – whereas I am a sauce freak).

it came out really well – both Mr MWCED and Son went for 2nds and we had no leftovers – always a good sign 🙂

Served with Hasselback Potatoes and buttered green beans.    Do you know the easy tip for cutting Hasselback Potatoes ?   Place a wooden spoon behind the potato when you are cutting it – that way you won’t slice right through the potato. Easy!