As the first Basckin in approximately 6 000 years to have anything at all to do with pork, next on this column’s menu, this recipe is full of new experiences and tempting, sometimes illicit, tastes. Let me tell you, as someone relatively new to this truly astonishing animal and its outstanding flavour qualities, pork fillets suggest to me that something went seriously wrong with the ancient translation of Leviticus.
Unfair to pigs! Join the Oink Liberation Front now and celebrate with this simple yet marvellous meal …
To feed four diners on pork butterflies with mushrooms, you will need: • 1kg pork fillets • 2 cups breadcrumbs • 1 cup flour • 2 eggs • 4 large mushrooms • 1 onion • 2 cloves of garlic • 100ml sweet white wine • extra-virgin olive oil • ½ teaspoon dried origanum • freshly ground black pepper • salt
We begin with the butterflies.
As serious cooks we all know that this refers to the cut of the pork and not in any way to decorative nunus fluttering prettily around the rose garden. Select a sharp filleting knife from your collection and cut the pork fillets into 30mm slices. Having done this, arrange the slices on the cutting board and carefully section each one along its longest side, leaving a small hinge. Fold the meat flat on the board and you will immediately understand why food artists call this a butterfly. Take a meat mallet or a rolling pin and gently pound the pork butterfly until it is a uniform thickness, say 10mm. This process ensures even cooking.
Cover the butterflies until needed 10 minutes or so later in the proceedings.
Break the eggs into a bowl and whip them with a fork. Into a second bowl pour the cup of flour and mix in the dried origanum, a teaspoon or so of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt. For the third and final bowl, pour in the dried breadcrumbs.
Right. Get your bowls in a row and start the mass production rolling. Dip each pork butterfly first into the beaten egg, then into the flavoured flour and finally into the breadcrumbs. Stack the coated butterflies on a dish until all have undergone the same procedure. a heavy-bottomed stainless steel frying pan, pour in just enough extra-virgin olive oil to thinly coat the bottom and bring this up to medium heat. Fry the pork butterflies for 10 minutes a side, turning once.
When this procedure is completed, place the butterflies in an ovenproof dish and bake them at 180ºC for another 20 minutes.
While this process is underway, hit the mushrooms. I n a little extra-virgin olive, sweat the thinly sliced onion and finely minced peeled garlic until reduced to a golden hash. Add the thinly sliced mushrooms and let them fry for 60 seconds. Add the 100ml of white wine, increase the heat and let the liquid boil until the volume is reduced by half. Season to taste.
Make a fresh green salad, open a couple of bottles of a fruity white wine, or even better, ice-cold Pilsners. What happens next needs no instructions. You know what you gotta do. – David Basckin |fw