Pork fillet with mustard crust

A sweet-savoury topping with mustard fruits and soupy borlotti beans combine to make an Italian sensation from Giorgio Locatelli
By Giorgio Locatelli
Pork fillet with mustard crust
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

  • 160 g dried borlotti beans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp tomato passata
  • 1 handfuls parsley, chopped

For the pork and crust

  • 150 g mostarda di frutta, (Italian mustard fruits)
  • 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 25 g butter
  • 850 g pork fillet, sliced into 4 equal pieces
  • 8 slices pancetta
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

For the broccoli

  • 200 g broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed, chopped

Method

1. Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl in plenty of cold water.

2. Rinse the soaked beans in a colander, then place them with the whole garlic cloves, celery, sage, bayleaf and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and cover with plenty of cold water (about double the volume of the beans).

3. Put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Remove the lid, skim the foam from the top and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are soft to the bite. At this point, take the pan off the heat, add salt to taste then leave the beans to cool in their cooking liquid.

4. Put the mustard fruits into a food processor and process until chopped. Add enough of the breadcrumbs, followed by the butter to bring everything together in a paste. Chill in the freezer for up to 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze to remove the excess water.

6. Take the mustard fruit mixture from the freezer. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the work surface. Spoon over the mixture and put another sheet of parchment paper on top. Roll over it with a rolling pin until the mixture has flattened out into a sheet of paste just a few millimetres thick. Put back into the freezer.

7. Preheat the oven to 250C/230C fan/gas 9.

8. Cut each pork fillet in half widthways, and wrap each one in a strip of pancetta. Hold the pancetta in place with a piece of string.

9. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan until medium-hot. Pour in in the sunflower or vegetable oil, season the pork and add to the pan. Fry until golden on both sides (a couple of minutes on each), making sure you keep the heat up inside the pan otherwise the meat will 'boil' rather than brown. You may need to cook the pork in 2 batches. If so, keep the first batch on the side while you fry the rest.

10. Transfer the fillets to the oven. Cook for about 3 minutes, take out and leave to rest.

11. Meanwhile take the crust from the freezer and, working very fast (as it will soften up almost straightaway), cut out 8 pieces, roughly the same size and shape as each piece of pork. Return it to the freezer for a few minutes to harden again.

12. Lift the beans from their cooking water and put in a separate pan. Add a ladle or two of the cooking water to the beans and the passata (the beans should be quite soupy). Warm through and season to taste. Keep warm.

13. Take the crust from the freezer, lift each piece with a fish slice and lay on top of each piece of pork. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Preheat the grill.

14. Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into a frying pan, add the chopped garlic and chilli and fry for a few minutes until the garlic starts to colour - don't let it burn or it will taste bitter. Add the broccoli and season. Toss around for a couple of minutes and turn the heat down.

15. Take the pork out of the oven and put under a preheated grill (if you have a combined oven/grill, turn on your grill to high and, as soon as it is hot, put the pork underneath). Grill until the crust becomes light golden, taking care not to let it burn.

16. Stir in the chopped parsley and spoon the beans onto warmed plates. Drizzle with a little olive oil and arrange the broccoli around the plate. Take the pork from under the grill, remove the strings and sit the meat on top of the beans.

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