12 February 2012

Mignon de Porc à L'Ail

Pork medallion with garlic, topped with wine-reduced caramelized shallots.

Last Saturday, I prepared a small dinner for my friend who is going to Germany next Tuesday. I invited him over to lend him some of my winter clothes. One of my friend, Jonathan, wanted to be my sous chef in cooking French cuisine, specifically a pork dish. I decided to try this recipe I stumbled upon a few weeks ago on the net. Apparently, it is one of the most popular dish in Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook.

Basically, this dish is baked pork tenderloin, wrapped in bacon. topped off with caramelized shallots, reduced in wine and dark chicken stock. Yuuum! I'm not much of a pork person, but I tell you, I really like this dish. Even my greatest food critique liked it! Although I think I made it a little dry (not very) and that's because I was unsure if the meat is cooked or not. I kept on removing and placing back the meat in the oven to check. I think the topping really made a difference. The sweetness of the caramelized shallots, infused it with reduction of the wine, and my semi-homemade dark chicken stock gave this dish a wonderful, wonderful flavour. Fantastico!

In order for you to make this, you need: (2-4 pax, depending on cut and appetite)

500 g pork tenderloin
4-5 bacon (enough to wrap the meat)
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled cloves
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
olive oil
4 shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup dark chicken stock* see below

1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Season the unpeeled garlic cloves with salt, pepper and thyme. Wrap the in an aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes, mash half of the garlic with fork and rub it on the pork tenderloin. Reserve the other half for later. Leave the oven on.

4. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Wrap with bacon strips and tie it with kitchen string.

5. On a hot pan (high heat), add oil and 1.5 tbsp butter. When the butter stops foaming, brown the meat on every side. When the meat is browned all over, place in a roasting dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the inside temperature reaches 160F. Discard the fat from the pan.

6. Remove the meat when done, and wrap in an aluminum foil to allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.

7. Slice the shallots into a "boat", quartered and separate thin layers. Add the rest of the butter in a hot pan and caramelize the shallot, about 5-7 minutes. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce until the mixture is dry (with glaze consistency). Lower the heat and add stock. Simmer until it reduces to half. Whisk in the remaining garlic and add a few more splashes of wine. Season to taste.

8. Cut the tenderloin into 0.5" - 1" slices, and pour over the topping.

9. Serve.

*To make dark chicken stock: (1cup)

bones of chicken, gizzard, chicken scraps
mirepoix (1 celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion)
2 cups water (or if you like, chicken broth)
aromatics (1 bay leaf, 1/8 tsp thyme, 2 parsley sprigs)

1. Brown the chicken and the vegetables in hot pan.

2. Discard the fat, and pour in water, mirepoix and aromatics, and simmer for 1-2 hrs or more. Strain, degrease, and the stock is ready for use)

Please do try this. Very yummy! Even my critiques like it! :D

Enjoy! Bon Appétit!