Recipe and photos by Mel Wallis
A pork fillet, aka pork tenderloin, is a very versatile cut of pork. Some customers have asked for our cooking tips to produce a succulent, tender pork fillet, hence this family-style recipe featuring our premium pork fillets.
All our pork is sourced from Havoc Farm Pork, higher welfare farmers based in South Canterbury, so we can assure paddock-to-plate traceability.
The pork fillet is cut from the rear end of the loin. This delicate muscle runs along the spine of the pig and is used for posture, not movement, so it’s one of the most tender cuts of pork you can buy.
Our pork fillets are ready to use straight from the shop, requiring no extra work.
This week’s recipe features Taste of the Alps’ The Gold Miner apricot and orange sauce for the marinade, sauce and glaze. If you prefer, Taste of the Alp’ The Farmers Daughter black doris plum and ginger sauce would also be delicious.
In addition to the pork and the apricot or plum sauce, you will need soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, your chosen vegetables and garnish, and rice.
TO MAKE THE MARINADE
3/4 of jar of apricot or plum sauce per pork fillet
4T soy sauce
4T rice vinegar
1t sesame oil
Salt to preference
Mix all marinade ingredients together and smother over the whole pork fillet before covering and storing in the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. (Slice the fillet into two lengths if needed to fit in the pan you’re going to sear it in.) The marinade seems thin now but, when cooked with the pork, will be reduced to create a sauce to spoon over the cooked pork.
TO COOK THE PORK
Get the pork and marinade out of the fridge about 20 min before you start cooking. Remove the pork from the marinade and keep the marinade aside for now.
Preheat your oven to 165C and heat a fry pan that’s large enough for the whole fillet to a medium-high heat. Drizzle and rub a little oil over the pork fillet then sear on all sides for even colour all round.
Take your pan off the heat. If it can go in the oven, put the reserved marinade over the pork – or put the pork and marinade in a baking dish. Cook uncovered in the oven for 20-25 min or until the internal temperature of the pork is 68C. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, see our tips to test doneness below.
As the pork cooks, prepare your accompaniments such as carrots and bok choy. For your chosen rice, I recommend simply following the packet directions, and don’t forget to wash the rice to remove starch prior to cooking. Bring 2 medium sized saucepans of water to the boil, one liberally salted, and one salted and add an equal amount of sugar. Blanch bok choy for no more than 1.5 min in the salted water, and blanch carrots for 6 min in the sugar/salt water.
Allow the pork to rest for 5 min on a warm plate under loose foil.
While your pork is resting, quickly sauté the bok choy in sesame oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve. Sauté the carrots quickly in the remainder of the apricot sauce and scatter chopped coriander and spring onion over carrots to serve.
Slice your pork and arrange over the cooked rice. It can have a slight blush
of pink (medium-rare) or no pink (medium). Scrape the reduced sauce from the pan or baking dish and pour over pork and rice.
Check out the pork fillet and other premium pork cuts and deli meats we make right
here in Wanaka using higher welfare pork from Havoc Farm Pork.
How to check meat doneness without a thermometer
You can check by feeling the meat and comparing it to the firmness of the fleshy tissue underneath your thumb. Poke the cooked pork fillet with your finger and make a mental note of the firmness.
- Raw meat will feel like the fleshy area between your thumb and the base of your palm when your hand is relaxed.
- Touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb. Rare meat has the same firmness as the area below the thumb when your hand is in this position.
- Touch your middle finger to your thumb. Now feel that fleshy spot again. This is medium rare.
- Medium feels like the flesh below your thumb when you press the tip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb.
- Well done is as firm as the area below your thumb when you press the tip of your pinky to the tip of your thumb.