27 May 2014

HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET


HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Juicy, pink, tender roasted pork filet with a wonderful honey-thyme aroma. This dish is extremely fast and easy to make, has surprisingly few ingredients, but tastes absolutely scrumptious, which in my book makes it a perfect dish.
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
The thyme and honey work so well together, with the sweetness of the honey being perfectly offset by the thyme, seasoning, stock and the pork, leaving just the right balance of flavours in the dish. You would be surprised by how little sweetness is actually left at the end, versus the beautiful taste and aroma that develops during the short cooking time. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
The first time we made this dish I had no thyme honey, so made it with regular honey and added a little more fresh thyme leaves instead. Meanwhile I bought thyme honey but I think I was more intrigued to taste it, rather than felt the need to buy it to improve the dish. The honey is lovely and I think it needs to be eaten secretly spoon-by-spoon by myself really appreciated. In fact it does not live next to the big honey jars in the cupboard to save the tiny jar from the 'big hungry bears'. Just think, how many busy bees will take how long to collect a spoonful of honey from these tiny thyme flowers...!?
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Did we spot the difference to regular honey in the dish? Blame our maybe undeveloped taste buds, but we think not. With this amount of fresh thyme, I think regular honey works just fine, so don't worry if you can't get hold of thyme honey, but make sure to use good quality, tasty, regular honey instead. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Recipe source: 'Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Loin', by Kerry Saretsky, French Revolution Blog
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Serves 2
app. 400g pork filet (tenderloin), preferably a piece of even thickness
salt
freshly milled black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, taken off the stems and roughly chopped
60ml (¼ cup) thyme (or lavender) honey (or regular honey and a little more fresh thyme)
60ml (¼ cup) chicken stock (can be made with stock cube)
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Preheat the oven to 190C/170Fan/375F. Line a small rimmed baking dish with aluminium foil, then oil lightlyTake the pork out of the fridge approx. 15 minutes before you want to use it. Remove any sinew and fat, then rinse quickly and pat dry with a paper towel. Season liberally on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, sear the pork on all four sides, app. 3 minutes each side, until golden brown, 12 minutes in total. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
While the pork is searing, whisk together the thyme, honey and butter until completely incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Remove the pork from the pan and put it into the prepared baking dish. Deglaze the pan: add the chicken stock to the pan, then scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Keep this pan sauce for later. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Rub the thyme-honey-butter all over the outside of the seared pork. Use a spoon to pour any off the mixture that runs off the meat back on top of the pork. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Pour the pan sauce into the baking dish next to the pork (not over the pork!). 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Roast the pork in the pre-heated oven for app. 10-12 minutes until the internal temperature reads 63C/145F. To measure the temperature insert a food thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the filet. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILETHONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
When cooked, take the pork out of the oven, cover with aluminium foil and allow it to rest for app. 10 minutes. During this time the pork will continue to cook and increase its temperature by another 5-10°C. 
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
Slice the meat into medallions and serve with the pan sauce and a few extra sprigs of fresh thyme as decoration. Goes well with MINI HERBED POMMES ANNA (see photo), GRATIN DAUPHINOIS, or HASSELBACK POTATOES.
HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET
TIPS: 
- The original recipe asks for 1 ¼ (650g) pork filet. It did not state the amount of chicken stock to be used, i.e. ¼ cup or ¼l. I have made it with 400g filet, and added ¼ cup = 60ml chicken stock to deglaze the pan. All other ingredients I used according to the original recipe. This quantity makes 2 portions with a relatively small amount of sticky, caramelised sauce. Maybe if making a larger amount of meat, ¼l of stock should be used, but I have not tried this yet and don't know to what extend that will thin the sauce. 
- Make sure to sear the meat well. This not only does this add colour and flavour, but also helps to seal in the juices and prevents the meat from drying. 
- Leave the filet to rest sufficiently after roasting and before cutting. This gives the juices that have bubbled to the surface a chance to sink back into the meat, keeping it moist, and avoiding that they run out when the meat is cut. 
- If not using a whole filet, try to buy or cut a piece of even thickness, as thinner ends tend to cook faster and therefore tend to dry out more than the thicker centre. 
- I use a food thermometer. It is a really good investment as you can be sure to cook your meats safely without overcooking and drying them out. In my opinion the best are those digital in-oven thermometers with long heat-resistant silicon cables, connecting the prove to the reader. The prove can be inserted and left inside the meat during the whole cooking process, while the reader sits on the counter top. Most of them come with an alarm and pre-set temperature settings for different meats and temperature scales for doneness, inline with food safety regulations. We use ours for most meats, poultry, fish, but it's also a great aid for anything baked in salt crust (recipes to follow...).

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HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET



HONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILETHONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILETHONEY-THYME ROASTED PORK FILET

Serves 2

app. 400g pork filet (tenderloin), preferably a piece of even thickness
salt
freshly milled black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, taken off the stems and roughly chopped
60ml (¼ cup) thyme (or lavender) honey (or regular honey and a little more fresh thyme)
60ml (¼ cup) chicken stock (can be made with stock cube)

Preheat the oven to 190C/170Fan/375F. Line a small rimmed baking dish with aluminium foil, then oil lightlyTake the pork out of the fridge approx. 15 minutes before you want to use it. Remove any sinew and fat, then rinse quickly and pat dry with a paper towel. Season liberally on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, sear the pork on all four sides, app. 3 minutes each side, until golden brown, 12 minutes in total. While the pork is searing, whisk together the thyme, honey and butter until completely incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Remove the pork from the pan and put it into the prepared baking dish. Deglaze the pan: add the chicken stock to the pan, then scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep this pan sauce for later. Rub the thyme-honey-butter all over the outside of the seared pork. Use a spoon to pour any off the mixture that runs off the meat back on top of the pork. Pour the pan sauce into the baking dish next to the pork. Roast the pork in the pre-heated oven for app. 10-12 minutes until the internal temperature reads 63C/145F. To measure the temperature insert a food thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the filet. When cooked, take the pork out of the oven, cover with aluminium foil and allow it to rest for app. 10 minutes. During this time the pork will continue to cook and increase its temperature by another 5-10°C. Slice the meat into medallions and serve with the pan sauce and a few extra sprigs of fresh thyme as decoration. Goes well with MINI HERBED POMMES ANNA (see photo), GRATIN DAUPHINOIS, or HASSELBACK POTATOES.
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