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Pork Wellington

With Steve overseas at the moment (and with Kayla and I completely OVER instant meals from Aunty Woolworths), it was time to roll out the big guns last night. Desperate for inspiration, I headed to the Pick n Pay on Nicol, only to find some saintly ladies taking freshly baked Pork Wellington out of the oven. I swear I could hear the angels singing!

Armed with their recipe and still swooning over the portion they had given me to taste, I headed off to pick up all the ingredients needed for supper that night. And it was AMAZING! This old classic is exactly what we needed on a cold winter's night, and was so quick and easy that I can see myself making it again and again!

Although Pick n Pay's recipe was fabulous - I did made a few tweaks which I have included below (what can I say, I am a rebel and don't like being told what to do!) And yes, you can make this with beef instead.

Pork Wellington

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 400 - 500g pork or beef fillet
  • 500g white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red onion, FINELY chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (minus the stalks)
  • 250g streaky bacon 
  • 400g puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg
  • salt & black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 glass white wine (optional)
  • Sweet Plum Sauce (optional)

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200'C
  2. Season pork/beef with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a pan, add approximately two tablespoons of olive oil and fry pork/beef on high heat on all sides until it is brown. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  3. Add more olive oil to the pan, before adding onions, garlic, thyme and mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes on a medium heat (too high and the mixture will burn and become bitter) until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft. If adding white wine, do so now and wait until all the alcohol has evaporated and there is no excess liquid left in the pan. (Hint: if the mixture is not dry enough, it will make your pastry soggy.)
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Layer the bacon so that it overlaps and is the length of your pork/beef fillet. Spread the mushroom mixture over the top. Place the fillet in the middle and using the plastic to help you, roll it into a sausage shape so that the fillet is covered with bacon. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Unwrap the meat from the plastic wrap. Roll out the pastry and place the meat in the centre. Tuck in the sides and then fold over the pastry (it will look like a spring roll). Turn it over so that the fold is at the bottom. Brush all over with egg wash (lightly beaten egg) and place on a baking tray in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes until the pastry is a dark golden brown. Leave to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with a large green salad and Exotic Foods Sweet Plum Sauce (trust me, it is sublime!)

Cooks notes:

* If using beef, you might want to try brushing it with mustard before wrapping it in the mushroom mixture and bacon. This is the traditional way of doing a Beef Wellington.

* Purists will tell you to blitz the mushrooms and onion in a food processor before frying, but I liked the texture this version has. Plus, the less washing up I have to do, the better!

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