Pork with chilli and tamarind dressing

Pair sweet shallots and asparagus with spicy Mexican pork fillet finished with tamarind
By Peter Kuruvita
Pork with chilli and tamarind dressing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the tamarind and chilli paste

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 ancho chillies, deseeded
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 130 g tamarind paste

For the vinaigrette

  • 30 ml lime juice
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar

To serve

  • 70 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12 shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1cm slices
  • 600 g pork fillet, cut into 3cm thick portions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, blanched and trimmed
  • 4 pieces of pork crackling, to serve (optional)

Method

1. For the paste: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan to a medium heat. Fry the chillies until crisp using tongs to turn. Place into a bowl and cover with water. Drain after 2 minutes, reserving the water.

2. Place the tomato, onion and garlic in a medium heavy based frying pan without oil and place on a medium heat. Char the tomato, onion and garlic on all sides removing them as they soften. Place them in a blender jar along with the chillies and tamarind paste. Blend until very fine, adding some of the water from soaking the chillies to get a smooth paste. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve; add salt to taste and reserve.

3. For the vinaigrette: Whisk all the ingredients together with a tablespoon of the tamarind and chilli paste. Set aside.

4. Heat a medium pan, then add 30 g of butter, sugar, a pinch of salt and shallots then cook gently for 5 minutes or until and softened, stirring or tossing frequently to coat the shallots well. Add the portobello mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes or until nicely browned. Take off the heat and keep warm.

5. Season the pork fillet with salt. Heat a heavy based frying pan to a medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the pork in the pan, add the 40 g of butter and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nicely coloured. Turn the pork over and continue cooking until the meat is medium to well done. Remove from the pan and let rest in a warm place for 3 minutes.

6. Add the asparagus to the shallots and mushrooms pan. Place the pan back on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Arrange the mushrooms, shallots and asparagus tips on the plate, then add 4 tablespoons of the tamarind vinaigrette to the pan to warm. Place the pork fillets on top of the vegetables, then dress the plate with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the pork crackling pieces and serve immediately.

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