One of the hardest parts of these particularly meaty recipes is negotiating my way around a butchers shop. It always feels like a bit of a standoff and these days I’m always looking for the slightly obscure stuff – this time pork tenderloins. The first place I went looking was an enormous deli with no one around to ask. They had ‘pork fillet’ and ‘eye fillet’. In retrospect I think eye fillet was what I was after. Next I went to a well respected Auckland butcher and started out by asking if they had veal tongue. They didn’t but helpfully pointed out ox tongue. I was surprised how enormous it was! Wouldn’t fit on a dinner plate. I declined then asked if they had pork tenderloin. The guy obliged, then sold me two port fillets. I didn’t have the heart to point out that this might not be what I was after, or to start arguing, so figured I would run with it.. Another time I’ll recount a tale where I dared question the origin of Chicken a la King with a Navy cook built like a brick shithouse whilst overnighting in an isolated mountain hut.. But I digress.. the fillets would do, and besides it was getting late, and they were a fraction of the price of the fancy prepackaged deli ones.

The pork sandwiches together with garlic confit and bacon in the centre and is refrigerated overnight. This means that preparation on the day is relatively straightforward, although timing with the sauce towards the end is fairly crucial. I was engaged doing last minute preparation for another dish and almost let the sauce – strong veal stock bolstered with demiglace, butter & garlic confit – get away, but rescued it just in time. Apparently this is one of the more popular dishes at Le Halles Restaurant. I can see the attraction, and it is super tasty, but I guarantee if I ever make it there I’ll be getting the most convoluted, difficult to prepare dish available, and not this – which is a cinch!

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