Pork fillet (or tenderloin) is a really unappreciated piece of meat. It’s really tender, and whilst it has a mild flavour compared to shoulder or leg of pork, it takes on the flavour of marinades & crusts brilliantly. It’s also very lean, & surprisingly cheap. The key to cooking it is not to overdo it – as long as the juices run clear it’s done – the meat will remain a very light pink colour.
In this recipe I’ve just combined the fillet with a za’atar coating, & finished it off with a tahini sauce. Tahini sauce is another fave of mine, having previously only used tahini for making hummus – it’s beautiful & creamy & goes well with a wide range of meats & fish.
1 500g pork fillet
4 tbsp za’atar
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tahini
1 bsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
A grind of pepper
Preheat the oven to 220 °C / 200 °C fan / gas mark 7 & preheat a baking tray, & heat up a frying pan over a high heat.
First you need to take a couple of minutes to prepare the fillet. It often has a thin membrane coating it called a silverskin (because it looks….silver!). Remove this (I use a knife to slit it then the back of a teaspoon to separate it from the fillet) & any bits of fat.
Get a large plate, spread the za’atar over it & roll the fillet in the za’atar until it’s covered by it. Put the oil in the frying pan & fry the fillet for about 5 minutes turning occasionally until the outside is a lovely golden colour. Place on the baking tray in the oven & roast for about 20 minutes until the juices run clear with a skewer.
Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. In a bowl, mix the ingredients together, then add water, a tbsp. at a time, until the sauce has a pouring consistency (may take 1-3 tbsp of water, depends on the tahini & the size of your lemon).
Take the pork fillet out of the oven & let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice into medallions & drizzle with the tahini sauce before serving.