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Chestnuts: Pork Tenderloins Layered with Chestnuts and Mushrooms

Pork with Chestnuts & Mushrooms

If you’re feeling extravagant, use cèpes. Otherwise, use a variety with a good flavour such as chestnut mushrooms. And if you can only get small tenderloins, get three and do a triple layer of meat with two lots of filling. It may take a fraction longer to cook and to prepare, but its five layers look very impressive when you slice the meat. (If you’re using fresh chestnuts, see my tips here.) Serves 6

50g butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 170g fresh cèpes or other mushrooms, roughly chopped 120g chestnuts, cooked and roughly chopped 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped 100g fresh breadcrumbs 1 egg, beaten 2 large pork tenderloins (about 500g each) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 140g dry cured streaky bacon 180ml white wine 200ml crème fraiche

To make the stuffing, melt half the butter in a pan and slowly soften the onion and garlic over a low heat. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 7-8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chestnuts, sage and breadcrumbs. Mix in just enough egg to bind the mixture a bit (a whole small egg or about two-thirds of a large one). Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3.

Trim any fat from the tenderloins and slit them lengthways, but not all the way through, so that you can open them out flat like a book. Season the cuts sides with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over one of the pieces. Lay the other piece on top, cut-side down. Season the top with salt and pepper.

Stretch the rashers of streaky bacon and wrap them round the meat tying or tucking the ends. Tie the meat with string in three or four places to secure it. Put it, with the bacon ends underneath, into a lightly greased roasting tin (ideally, one into which the meat fits without much spare room).

Season what is now the top with salt and pepper and spread the butter over it, particularly over the exposed bits of pork. Pour the wine around it and cook in the oven for 1hr 30 minutes, basting frequently and topping up with water if it starts to look dry.

Once done, put the meat on a warmed dish and cover very loosely with foil. Add the cream to the pan, bring to the boil and boil until thickened slightly. Slice the meat and pour some of the sauce around it. Serve the rest separately.

This is a rich dish, so keep the accompaniments simple – something green and some boiled potatoes or rice, for example.

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