Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Pan fried pork loin served with hash brown and leeks with pancetta.

I managed to grab myself eight boneless pork loins for £3 today, so had a look in my fridge and cupboards to see what I had, and this is what sprang to mind. The only thing that took any time was the hash browns, the rest is a ten minute cook! I have had a couple of requests, and I think this will suit them both, one request was for a Valentines recipe, I think this would suitably impress any of your chosen Valentines, and also my Welsh banter boy wanted some leek recipes. BINGO!
The hash browns can be cooked in advance and then heated up in a little oil in a frying pan, just do not brown them up so much in the fryer! They are great with a poached egg on top too. =)

Serves 2, with extra hash browns for brunch!
Hash Browns

  • 3 medium sized maris piper potatoes. (Makes 5-6 hash browns.)
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying the hash browns.

Leek and Panchetta.

  • 3 medium sized leeks, chopped into 1cm circles.
  • 3 slices of pancetta or bacon, chopped roughly.
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic.
  • large knob of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 tablespoon of whisky or bourbon.

  • 2 boneless pork loins
  • olive oil and a knob of butter for frying.

1. Start by preparing the hash browns. Pre-heat oven to 180c. Place the 3 potatoes on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning half way so that the skin does not brown too much on the bottom. They want to be firm, not cooked all the way, so that they are too soft to grate.
2. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little. Peel the potatoes using a knife, the skin should just come off easy, I hold the potato in a clean tea towel, as they are pretty hot. Then using a cheese grater, grate the potatoes into a bowl, using long strokes to get long pieces of potato. Add some salt to the bowl and gently stir.
3. Using a ramekin or round cookie cutter, press a large tablespoon of the potato into it quite firmly (they want to be around 1.5-cm deep, then turn out onto a plate, repeat this process until all your potato is used up. Place the plate in the fridge so they can firm up, which takes around half an hour, this prevents them from falling to pieces in the hot fat.
4. Meanwhile heat some olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat, until the butter has melted, season the pork loins and add to the pan, cook on both side for around 5 minutes or until cooked through, I find that if you baste the pork a few times with the juices and butter, they stay more moist. When cooked, remove from pan and rest on a plate whilst you do the final steps. Leave the juices in the pan for step 6.
5. Heat a deep fat fryer to 180c and add 2 of the hash browns cook for 5 minutes turning them over once or until they are golden and crisp, remove from the fat and drain on a paper towel. (if you do not have a deep fat fryer, you can use a saucepan)
6. Whilst the hash brown are cooking, in the same pan that the pork was cooked, add a little more butter and gently fry the leeks and garlic until they soften a little, then add the rosemary and bacon, cook until the bacon is crisp, then add seasoning and finally the special ingredient, that makes hell of a difference, whiskey, cook for a further minute.
7. Serve by spooning the leeks and pancetta into the middle of the plate, place the loin on top, then the delicious golden-crisp hash brown. Sprinkle the hash brown with a little more salt, and tuck in!

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