I noticed a little while back how often I cook with honey and mustard together. I was writing up the fairly simple recipe for my Honey Mustard Sauce and couldn’t help feel that the ingredients list felt a little too familiar. For me it’s not a problem. Honey + Mustard is very much = happiness for my tastebuds. That combination of sweet and sticky honey with hot mustard never fails to bring joy to a plate of food.
It’s versatile too – working well with pretty much any meat (or fish) recipe. Depending on how much of each you use, of course. The choice of honey can have a huge impact on the end flavour, so in most instances I use fairly predictable blended honey from the supermarket. Well it’s best to save the good stuff for toast or porridge, isn’t it?
A few days later whilst going through the cupboards I found an ageing bottle of Maple Syrup. I couldn’t help but wonder if it could be used in place of honey in a mustardy sauce. Its high sugar content would be certain to bring a rich, sticky quality, but would the stronger flavour prove to be a bit too much? Well, as you’ve probably guessed my suspicions were right. Maple and mustard are very much good friends.
Here I’ve used two types of mustard to get the flavours right. The pork is rubbed with a mixture containing hot English mustard powder. The sauce is enriched with its more mild, wholegrain cousin. Together they bring plenty of mustard flavour, without drowning out everything else. The maple syrup works exactly as I’d hoped, with a deep rich flavour that most honey just can’t provide. The addition of sage in the sauce brings a little bit of herbal freshness that helps keep it just on the savoury side.
I’m not going to pretend that Maple Syrup is in any way a cheap ingredient but it is what you should be using here. The proper stuff comes from the sap of trees rather than being artificially-flavoured sugar syrup and that is reflected in the cost. In my experience it’s about three or four times the cost of the cheaper alternatives. But using the right stuff matters sometimes – especially when you’re looking for the depth of flavour not just sweetness.
Real Maple Syrup also tastes better on your bacon and pancakes, so it’s worth having around the house anyway. At least that’s how I justify it to myself…
Maple & Mustard Pork
For the Pork
- 3 tsp English Mustard Powder
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 300 g Pork Fillet Tenderloin
For the Maple Mustard Sauce
- 1 tbsp Butter
- ½ Onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 200 ml Chicken Stock
- 12 Sage Leaves
- Start by marinating the pork. Mix together the mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper until well combined. Add in the olive oil and stir to create a thick paste. Coat the pork with this mixture, rubbing it into the meat as you go. Put into a bowl, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge for an hour or two before cooking.
- When ready to cook remove the pork from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for a few minutes. Cut the pork fillet into medallions, around 1½-2cm in thickness.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil if you think you need it. Add the pork to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned on the outside and almost cooked through. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
- Add the butter to the pan, followed by the finely chopped onion. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the wholegrain mustard, maple syrup and chicken stock then turn up the heat slightly to bring it to a simmer. Allow to bubble for a few minutes until reduced and thickened.
- Thinly shred the sage leaves then add to the pan. Stir until mixed through and cook for a further minute, before returning the pork to the pan. Heat the pork through ensuring it’s well coated in the maple syrup and mustard mixture.
- Serve the pork medallions topped with some of the excess sauce from the pan.
|Estimated Values Per Serving|
|of which Saturates||8||g|
|of which Sugars||20||g|
Note: Nutritional Information is shown per serving of the recipe shown above. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.