It’s no secret that I love pork fillet – also known as pork tenderloin. If you look back over the Pork recipe collection you’ll notice that it crops up quite a lot. Indeed, it’s the core component of one of my favourite recipes of the last few years: Pork Loin with Salsa Verde. With that in mind, you’ll not be surprised to know that my version of Pork Scaloppine starts with a very familiar ingredient…
There are many reasons I’m a big fan of this cut of meat. For one, it’s often the perfect size for feeding two people. Ideal in our household, where the majority of meals are prepared for just Michael and I. There’s next to no wastage as there are generally no leftovers. It’s also generally a very lean cut too, which means very little needs to be trimmed off before cooking. Admittedly that lack of fat does mean it can get a bit tough and dry if you’re not careful but that’s easily overcome by one final bonus. It cooks quickly! You can roast a whole pork fillet in the oven in half an hour, putting a Sunday Roast well within reach on any day of the week.
Of course, if it’s quick to cook whole then you can imagine what can be achieved when it’s cut into thin slices, as with these scaloppine. To quickly assuage the fears of purists here, it’s my understanding that the term scaloppine is perfectly acceptable in its usage here. It’s a diminutive of the Italian word scaloppa (e.g. escalope in English, via French) and as such literally means “small escalope”. In other words, a thinly sliced piece of meat. Which is exactly what you get from this recipe.
The key flavours used here are balsamic vinegar and lemon zest, along with a few herbs and a bit of sugar. They form the base of the marinade, in which the pork should be allowed to wallow for several hours. That marinade then goes on to become the rich sauce that is drizzled over the finished dish. All you need in between is a very sharp knife and a nice hot pan.
That decent knife is essential, as you’ll want to cut the pork into slices no more than 5mm thick. This helps it to cook in next to no time, ensuring it stays mouthwateringly tender whilst still picking up a bit of a char from the pan. In nicer weather you could probably cook the pork on the barbecue, if the mood took you.
Indeed, I might have just given myself an idea for a rather lovely summer evening with a selection of different marinades and a nice chilled bottle of wine!
Balsamic & Lemon Pork Scaloppine
For the Marinated Pork
- 75 ml Balsamic Vinegar
- 35 ml Vegetable Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 Lemons zest only
- 400 g Whole Pork Fillet (Tenderloin)
For the Sauce
- 100 ml Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 100 ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 10 Baby Plum Tomatoes halved
- 1 tsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Mix together the marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag. Add the pork fillet and turn until fully coated in the marinade. Cover (or seal the bag) and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove the pork fillet from the marinade and put to one side. Pour the marinade into a small pan, along with the vermouth and stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
- Once the sauce has thickened add the tomatoes, then cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. When softened crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon until they break down and further thicken the sauce. Keep the sauce warm.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat and add a splash of oil.
- Using a very sharp knife cut the pork fillet into 3-5mm thick slices, then fry in the pan for 2 minutes or so on each side until cooked through.
- Add the parsley to the sauce, then drizzle over the pork when you serve it.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||4||g|
|of which Sugars||15||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|