Thursday, 31 July 2014

Pork And Rhubarb (and a nice Chardonnay!)

I've loved getting back into the swing of cooking some more interesting meals this week and I was excited to pick up a big bunch of rhubarb at the fruit shop a few days ago.

Initially I thought that I'd make an apple and rhubarb crumble, a strudel or some other sweet treat with it, but then thought I'd try something different. In the back of my mind I was sure that I'd seen a recipe for a pork and rhubarb dish and so went hunting. After a massive sort through my collection of cook books, I found the recipe in one of the original Jamie Oliver books, Happy Days with the Naked Chef.

I have had this cook book for years (it was published in 2001) so it's only taken a little while to get around to making it! I love the tartness of rhubarb, but have generally only had it in desserts, so I was intrigued to see how it would taste in a savoury dish.

Combined with the sweet pork fillet, salty proscuitto and the fragrant sage, it was a wonderful combination. The tart acidity in the rhubarb really complemented the other flavours well. I served the pork with duck fat roast potatoes and lemon peas and it all went really nicely together.

If you couldn't get pork fillet, the same flavours would work with chops or even a roast with lots of crispy crackling. If you did use a roast, you wouldn't drape the prosciutto over the top, because that would stop the crackling from forming. Just bake it on a separate tray until crispy and then serve alongside the meat.

The whole lot was washed down with a lovely bottle of Chardonnay. The perfect meal to have with the inlaws, welcoming them home from an 8 week holiday overseas.

Jamie Oliver's Superb Marinated Pork Fillet Roasted on Rhubarb

A large handful of sage
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Olive oil
2 pork fillets (about 300g each)
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices of prosciutto
A bunch of rhubarb, trimmed and washed

Trim the pork fillets of any sinew and cut each into two pieces, so that you have four equal fillets.
Use a mortar and pestle to smash up half the sage and garlic into a paste.
Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and mix to combine. Season to taste.
Rub the flavoured oil over the pork fillets and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Cut the rhubarb into finger sized pieces and place in a glass baking tray. You don't want to use aluminium as it reacts with the acid in the rhubarb.
Put the pork fillets side by side on top of the rhubarb and then place 2 slices of prosciutto over each fillet. 
Drizzle with any remaining marinade and a touch more oil and then sprinkle with the rest of the sage leaves.
Wet a piece of greaseproof paper, scrunch it up and tuck it over the meat in the pan.
Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the pork is cooked and the proscuitto crispy.
Remove from the oven and rest for a few minutes.
Serve each person some rhubarb and a prosciutto covered pork fillet. Spoon any remaining juices over the top.
Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, or any other veg you like.


And To Drink....

This 2006  Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills is a wonderful drop that we picked up while visiting my parents in Adelaide a few years ago. 

Even though it was eight years old, there were still plenty of stone fruit and citrus flavours, with a beautiful buttery mouthfeel and gorgeous complexity.  The oakiness wasn't overpowering and the nuttiness was lovely.

The citrus flavours complemented the sweetness in the pork and the saltiness in the prosciutto. I thought that the rhubarb might be a bit too acidic, but because it was roasted, it had begun to caramelise and so a beautiful stickiness had started to emerge. The crispy duck fat potatoes combined to that beautiful mouthfeel.

My Chardonnay palate certainly is evolving. I'm glad that we decided to buy a case of this wine, because I still have a few bottles left of this to enjoy!


  1. Your pork and rosemary dish sounds amazing. I imagine that the acid of the rhubarb would work very well with the sweetness of pork.

    Nepenthe chardonnay is gorgeous, isn't it? I visited Nepenthe vineyard last year for a work function and was really impressed. I'm impressed that you managed to keep it for eight years.

  2. This was a really beautiful dish and the flavours went so well together. Definitely one worth trying.

    Nepenthe wines are lovely and for someone that normally isn't a big Chardonnay fan, I loved this one. It's a gorgeous winery too in such a beautiful location.