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Pork Fillet with Lentils, Grilled Spring Onions and Apricot-Bell-Pepper Terrine
Terrines are great if you plan something special for your guests but don’t want to spend the whole evening in the kitchen. They can be prepared one or two days before and when the guests arrive, the only thing you need to do is to cut off some slices and finish the other components of your dish. Another great advantage is that they are very versatile. So if there are some leftovers from last nights dinner, you can still use them in combination with other ingredients. Usually terrines are used only as main elements in cold appetizers. This recipe is a nice example for using terrines as accompaniments in warm dishes served as a main course.
Of course you have to place the terrine as the very last element on the plate, because the gelatine instantly starts melting. You could also use agar-agar to make your terrine heat stable if you plan to use it as part of hot dishes only. I prefer gelatine because of its texture, it melts more smoothly. To this main course I also added some charred spring onions. Charring spring onions completely changes their flavor. While they can be pretty hot and pungent when eaten raw, during heating they completely loose this feature. Heating can be also achieved by simply cooking or sautéing them in foaming butter. Grilling adds those small charred spots where the scallions actually caramelize and develop a wonderful rich flavor.
Pork Fillet with Lentils, Apricot-Bell-Pepper Terrine and Grilled Spring Onions
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 portions
4 slices apricot and bell pepper terrine
400 g pork fillet
250 ml pork or veal stock
50 g lentils
1 slice fresh ginger
1/2 tsp apricot vinegar
1 bay leaf
6 spring onions / scallions
1 sprig rosemary
6-8 sprigs thyme
1.5 cloves garlic
freshly ground black pepper
For the pork
Remove the meat from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 90°C / 195 F. Trim off any excess fat or sinews from the pork fillet and cut in half. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil in a hot pan and sear the fillets from all sides until nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 sprig rosemary, 3-4 sprigs thyme and 1 crushed garlic clove. Transfer herbs to a plate, put the fillets on it and leave for 50 minutes in an 90°C / 195 F hot oven.
Meanwhile add 100 ml pork stock to the pan and scrape off the caramelized parts. Reduce to half and season with salt and pepper. Glaze the pork fillets every 10 minutes with the reduced stock. When there's no stock left in the pan, continue glazing the fillets with the sauce beneath them.
For the lentils
Bring 150 ml pork stock to a boil in a small pot. Dice the peeled ginger slice and 1/2 garlic clove very finely and add along with the lentils to the hot stock. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. Gently stir sometimes.
When the lentils are done, remove from the heat and add 3-4 sprigs thyme and 1 torn bay leaf. Remove the herbs after 10 minutes and season the lentils with salt, pepper and some apricot vinegar.
For the grilled spring onions
Wash, then drain the spring onions on a paper towel. Discard the beard and trim spring onions to equal length. Grill from both sides in a hot grilling pan until nicely charred.
Preheat two pasta plates in the still warm oven. Slice the terrine and allow for 10 minutes to warm to room temperature.
Divide the lentils between the two plates and place one pork fillet on top. Glaze with 2 tbsp sauce. Add 2-3 grilled spring onions and 2 slices of apricot-bell-pepper terrine.