Friday, 7 June 2013

Pork Fillet & Coriander - and some Ginger Wine

So the veg box arrived on Tuesday and I checked out the contents and my list of likely meals culled from various sources in order to put together a meal plan and finalise the rest of the shopping requirements. I was still feeling uninspired and I won't lie that it was a chore, despite being faced with the kind of fresh and delicious vegetables that would normally make my heart sing.

Among other things, there was a small bunch of asparagus - such a treat, but not more than one serving's worth, so I supplemented with the final spears poking up from the garden and made a quiche on Wednesday.

A huge bag of spinach. Always tricky - I love it, kids don't.

A big bag of a herb that I knew I knew, but I couldn't identify.  How embarrassing.

Turned out it was coriander. Aromatic and fresh, but loads of it and I wasn't fancying carrot and coriander soup, despite the bunch of carrots. Curry? No. Pesto? No.

In the end I reached for Sarah Raven (she of the velvet gardening coat and close personal friendship with Emma Bridgewater - not that I'm jealous or anything). Her Garden Cookbook is a real winner if you have more than a passing relationship with vegetables. The book isn't a vegetarian cook book, but there are loads of good recipes, divided loosely into seasons and by different veggies, which is a Godsend when you have a glut - or a lack of inner inspiration.

One thing, they can often be quite fiddly, so that even 'simple' meals turn out to be quite task intensive. She also often uses some less common additional ingredients. Thanks to my foray into the pages earlier in the week, I am now the proud owner of a bottle of ginger wine. I suspect that sherry or marsala (for all Nigella fans) would work equally well here.

Pork Fillet with Coriander

Serves 4

450g piece of pork tenderloin, cut into 2-3 cm thick medallions
1 red onion, finely sliced
30g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
3 large mushrooms, quite thickly sliced
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
70ml ginger wine
2 heaped teaspoon soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
200ml creme fraiche
large bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan, then add the sliced onion and crushed coriander seeds, and cook gently for a few minutes till the onion is soft. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the mushrooms & garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes then add to the onions.

Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and then turn the pork slices in the butter and oil in the pan for 3-4 minutes, before putting the onions and mushrooms back in the pan.

Add the ginger wine, sugar and lemon juice to the pan, turn up the heat a little and allow everything to cook and bubble to become syrupy.

Add the creme fraiche, salt and pepper and then stir in the chopped coriander and serve.

As Sarah suggested, it was delicious with her Spinach with Puy Lentils (my way), thus killing the spinach bird at the same time, but I have to confess that I also cooked some pasta for the kids. The creamy sauce went down very well whether it was lentils or pasta - and to give them their due, both kids ate the small amount of the lentils & spinach I gave them. 

I can feel my mojo very slowly returning...

Linking up to Herbs on Saturday hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage with the beautiful coriander that went into the dish.


  1. Ooooh RJ, this recipe looks ace! I must give this a try. If anyone wants me, I've gone on the hunt for ginger wine!

    1. I have most of a bottle left - I can courier it up to London if you like...

  2. Love the sound of this R, I've some army entertaining to do next week and I'm going to try it. Glad you're getting your mojo back - not wanting to sound too horribly gushy (though probably does) but you do inspire me to cook/bake. Still making bread and we're on our third RJ chocolate cake :) x

    1. :-) thanks Tracey! I'm feeling a little more inspired now

  3. BEAUTIFUL recipe and I have that book too, I LOVE Sarah Raven's recipes, they are so imaginative and seasonal! Thanks for another GREAT entry! Karen


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