Monday, 16 July 2012

Char-grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sage Butter

Get the ambulance on stand-by. This is decadence on a plate. Supremely tender pork fillet, intense fried sage leaves and a buttery sauce. See what I mean?

I was desperate to light some fire, after what has proved to be the wettest, coldest July since records began. The 'forecast' predicted a dry but cloudy Sunday. Good enough for me. The recipe idea came about following a visit to wonderful friends last weekend. We were served pan seared pork fillet with a mushroom and cream sauce to die for.

The lack of rain (and time) got me thinking about a similar, simple, flavoursome Sunday family meal, cooked over charcoal based on marinating and grilling a pork tenderloin fillet, and complimenting it with a sage flavoured buttery sauce.

Pork tenderloin is an underrated cut of meat. Superficially expensive, but in fact one fillet easily feeds four people. This fillet cost around £7 and proved to be superb value for money.

Years ago, I stumbled across a Tuscan recipe involving sage leaves fried in butter. I gave them a go, and I promise you, once you get your lips around one of these bad boys there is no turning back. The sweet, salty, aromatic burst you get when you bite into one is unforgetable. The effort involved in making them is truly worth it.

So somehow, the Tuscan recipe memory, and the recent tenderloin dinner resulted in an idea for a slightly different family Sunday meal. I thought that by frying the sage leaves in butter, not only would I get the crispy green treats, but I'd be left with a wonderfully flavoured base for a sauce. This actually was not the case. Although the leaves fried beautifully, the butter was by then properly hammered and had that burnt, bitter taste that you would best want to avoid.

I re-thought the whole thing as I went along. OK, the sage leaves were good, but the sauce would need to be made again from scratch. So, I gently melted (loads) more butter, added some of my favourite secret chicken stock powder and a bit of cream. You do not need much of this (remember the ambulance), but wow, it packs some serious punch.


- Pork fillet
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- handful of fresh rosemary
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- handful of large sage leaves
- 200g lightly salted butter
- 1 tsp of secret chicken stock powder (ask me and I will gladly tell)


Start by marinating the pork fillet in the olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Rub the fillet with the oil and herbs and wrap in cling film. Keep at room temperature for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge.

Prepare a charcoal grilling fire, then sear the fillet for about 15 minutes, before wrapping in foil and allowing to rest in a warm oven for a further 20 minutes or so.

Melt half the butter in a small pan until it foams, then 3 or 4 at a time, gently fry the sage leaves until they become crisp without changing colour. Lay the fried leaves out on kitchen paper until needed.

Melt the remaining butter in a small pan, add the secret stock powder and cream and keep warm until it's time to serve.

Carve the pork into thin rounds, drizzle the seasoned melted butter over the meat and serve with 4 or 5 crispy sage leaves.



the food dude said...

Man, this looks really rich and decadent, you got me drooling...I can just imagine the tender and juicy porkloin with that awesome butter sauce, nice!

Christine's Pantry said...

This looks amazing. You had me drooling too.

Mark Willis said...

I share your love of pork fillet.Very under-rated. It is one of my favourite cuts. Not quite so keen on grilled courgettes though...

Hester @ Alchemy said...

Drool. I love pork tenderloin - it's so versatile and cooking over fire really does work wonderfully. Love the fried sage leaves. Another gorgeous feast, Anthony!

Hester @ Alchemy said...

Drool. I love pork tenderloin - it's so versatile and cooking over fire really does work wonderfully. Love the fried sage leaves. Another gorgeous feast, Anthony!

Lola Lobato said...

Love the fried sage and the buttery sauce! I could have it with anything.

Yumgoggle said...

I love a real good pork dish. My husband is arriving from a few months stay in the Middle East. Being in an Arab country for quite a while, he misses pork dishes a whole lot. This is a great welcoming treat to my husband =) Thanks for sharing!

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We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.
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Rachael said...

Wow, there's a lot of drool around here...looks and sounds utterly delicious, lovely.

fallen from flavour said...

proper stuff.

All That I'm Eating said...

This sounds fantastic. Pork and sage are so great together and smothering it in butter sounds even better!

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