The recipe for this sauce was given to me by Drogo Montagu, owner of Fine Food Specialist. He used it to complement pan-fried halibut (check out the video I shot of him cooking it) but I thought it would work just as well with pork, with a tweak here and there.
And although Drogo used girolle mushrooms (or ceps, as they’re also known), I’ve used common-or-garden white mushrooms (much cheaper) and the results are just as sensational: sweet, nutty and creamy, with a long lingering depth. It goes fantastically well with this juicy, tender pan-fried pork, but I’m sure it would work just as well with roasted chicken thighs or pan-fried crispy-skinned chicken breast, too.
For the pork
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pork tenderloin fillet
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
6 rashers Oscar Mayer streaky smoked bacon (this is key: it’s American bacon, which is very sweet and crisps up beautifully)
250g mushrooms (any kind)
250ml double cream
1 glass white wine
1 garlic clove
30g unsalted butter
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dried tagliatelle, cooked in a large pan of boiling water, according to packet instructions, approx. 8-9 mins
Steamed asparagus tips, to serve.
1. Clean and prepare the mushrooms (If there is a lot of soil, you can wash them in water and pat them dry with kitchen towel)
2. Remove the stalks and reserve for the mushroom stock. Finely chop the tops.
3. Make a simple mushroom stock by adding the stalks to a pan of water and bringing it to the boil. Once it boils, add a capful of wine and a crushed clove of garlic then turn down the heat and let it simmer.
4. Add a knob of butter to a hot saucepan pan and add a splash of olive oil, which will stop the butter from burning. Add the spring onions and mushrooms and cook them down until all the water has been released (you will hear the sound change from a bubbling to a sizzling). Now add a splash of wine into the pan. The pan must be hot enough for the wine to bubble fiercely and burn off the alcohol. Once the booze has cooked off add 100ml of the mushroom stock to the mushrooms and leave to simmer.
5. Cut the bacon into a fine dice and fry off until crispy. Reserve for later.
6. Once the liquid of the sauce has reduced down again, add the cream and allow to simmer and reduce the flavours. When the sauce starts to bubble thickly it is ready. Add a tablespoon more of the mushroom stock to thin it out and then add the bacon and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
7. Cut the pork tenderloin into six evenly-sized pieces. Flatten a little with a meat hammer or the palm of your hand. Roll in flour seasoned with paprika, salt and pepper.
8. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until hot. Cook the tenderloins for approx. 7-8 mins, turning every few seconds so that the flour doesn’t burn. When the pork is just past the pink stage, transfer to a plate to rest.
9. Plate up the tagliatelle, with the pork tenderloins on top, with the asparagus scattered around, then topped with the bacon-mushroom sauce.