Medallions of Pork with Rhubarb Salsa and Sautéed Spinach (Serves 4)

Rhubarb isn’t just for dessert, it works well with savoury dishes too, as it’s fruity, tart flavour really complements meat such as pork or duck. This dish is very good with Sautéed Spinach and Baby Roast Potatoes (recipes here).

2 pork tenderloins (trimmed of any fat and silverskin)

40g butter

For the Salsa:

225g rhubarb

60ml white wine

2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly

2 tablespoons crème fraiche

1 teaspoon sugar

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Cut the rhubarb  into small slices (about 1cm). Place in a saucepan with the white wine and gently cook until it becomes ‘mushy’ and tender. Purée until smooth – a stick blender is ideal for this or you can use a food processor.
  2. Melt the jelly in a saucepan, then add the rhubarb purée, crème fraîche, sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tenderloins, into 2cm slices. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the medallions over a medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side – you want them to still be a little pink.
  4. Serve the warm salsa over the pork medallions. Serve with Sautéed Spinach and Baby Roast Potatoes (recipes here).

The Very Best Sausage Rolls (with a gluten free option!!)

Seriously, this is the best sausage roll recipe you will come across!…The secret is the sausage meat, the combination of bacon and fennel with the pork mince really adds a burst of flavour. Apart from making the sausage meat, this recipe is very quick, as it uses ready rolled puff pastry. Any uncooked sausage rolls can be easily frozen and cooked at a later date.

Gluten Free Note: As you may know, I’m gluten free, and so I make these both with and without gluten, if I’m totally honest the gluten recipe is slightly better, however the gluten free option is still very good. I have recently discovered ‘Jus Roll Gluten Free Ready Rolled Puff Pastry’, and I was pleasantly surprised with it, it doesn’t puff up in quite the same way as the gluten puff pastry, hence those pictured are made with ‘proper puff pastry’, however they still taste rather delicious!

The sausage meat recipe requires ‘Panko’ Breadcrumbs, so as a gluten free option I use ‘Esgir, Gluten Free Crunchy Crumbs’, which are a great substitute.

For the Sausaage Meat

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

150g unsmoked streaky bacon, finely chopped

Olive oil

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan

500g pork mince

40g panko breadcrumbs (or gluten free crumbs – see note above)

1 egg, lightly whisked

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper

For the Rolls

2 packets of Jus Rol Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (Gluten Free if required – see note above)

1 egg, lightly whisked

A little plain flour (gluten free if required) for rolling

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 2 minutes, then add the bacon. Cook for a further 2 minutes without browning. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Add the fennel seeds, pork mince, breadcrumbs, salt and a little pepper and the egg, mix well using your hands.
  3. To make the rolls: lay out the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Cut each rectangle of pastry in half lengthways, so that you have four pieces. Put the sausage meat in a compact log shape along the middle length of each piece of the pastry. For each piece: brush the egg along one long edge, fold the pastry over to meet this egg washed edge, seal tightly, then fold this sealed edge under the long roll.
  4. If you have the patience it is a good idea to refrigerate the long rolls for an hour before cooking, as it makes them easier to cut.
  5. When you are ready to cook them, cut each long roll into smaller lengths to create ‘sausage rolls’. Gently score each roll a couple of times with a knife and brush with the egg wash.
  6. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven, 180’c fan,  for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and serve warm.

Freezing Note: You can freeze unbaked sausage rolls, place in an airtight container in single layers with baking paper between each layer. You can cook them from frozen, brush with egg wash and place in a preheated oven, 180’c, for about 40 minutes.

Simple Sausages with Roasted Potato & Onion Wedges (Serves 4)

This is a great midweek supper, it’s more or less a matter of putting the ingredients in a roasting pan and leaving the oven to do its work!

900g large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 – 4 fresh rosemary sprigs

2 red onions, peeled and each cut into eight wedges

8 sausages

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Put the potatoes in a roasting tin drizzle over the olive oil and turn to coat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Place the rosemary on top. Place in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and add the onion wedges, toss with the potatoes so that they get a good coating of olive oil. Then put the sausages in between the potatoes and onions. Return to the oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Serve with tenderstem broccoli or baked beans (Heinz!), and a dollop of tomato ketchup and mustard!

Pork Chops with Pears & Crackling (Serves 4) 

This is one of our family’s favourites, a real ‘hug on a plate’ – a beautiful creamy dish. I found the recipe years ago in a magazine, the cutting is now rather dog-eared, as I’ve cooked it so many times! The crackling, which is made from the rind of the chops, is my personal addition to the recipe and one which, I must admit, is one of my more brilliant ideas(!); it is really worth making as it makes this dish extra special. I like to serve this with my ‘favourite’ mashed potato or, if I’m feeling a little lazy, jacket potatoes, and for some greenery I like tenderstem broccoli with lemon butter and almonds (all recipes are here).

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 pork chops

4 bushy sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and chopped

2 medium pears

15g butter

200ml dry cider

150ml double cream

Sea salt and Black pepper

For the Crackling

1-2 tablespoons malt vinegar

Sea salt

  1. First of all make the crackling: cut off the rind from the chops. Score the rinds a couple of times. Pour boiling water over each piece, dry it, and sprinkle over the malt vinegar, rubbing it in, finally sprinkle with salt. Leave to one side for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven, 200’c, for 30 minutes until crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly oil the chops, sprinkle over the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Halve and core the pears, cut into large dice. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the diced pear until golden and slightly caramelised on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan brown the chops on each side over a moderate heat. When browned place on a baking tray and cook in the oven, 200’c fan, for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, deglaze the frying pan with the cider, stirring to dissolve any sticky residue that the chops have left behind. Boil and reduce the cider for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the cream, whisk lightly to mix in and allow to bubble down for a minute or so.
  7. Return the chops and the pears to the pan to reheat everything. Check the seasoning. Serve with the crackling, mashed potato or jacket potatoes and tenderstem broccoli (recipes here).

Click here to see the video of the crackling being made!