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I have been converted.

After years of generally avoiding having to cook pork fillets at home, this recipe changed my mind. I cannot believe that following such simple steps, with only few ingredients, has made such a big change in the result. This is the original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s site (link above):

  • 4 higher-welfare pork neck fillet steaks
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled and crushed
  • 1 handful fresh sage leaves , chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
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Instead of using sage, as in the original recipe, I decided to use Rosemary (about a teaspoon of leaves).

Obviously we all know how it goes with Maltese lemons, they’re much juicier than the ones in the UK, so the fillets will be quite lemony. I think it works with the strong taste of pork and the fillets taste great when you get the timing right. I like to generally follow the rules as follows, but you may need to adjust if you use bone-in fillets as these will need a longer cooking time:

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  • in a hot pan, lay the fillets out so that there is plenty of space between them. There’s no need to add more oil since the fillets have been marinating in some.
  • turn after 2 minutes, then turn every minute for a total of 8 minutes. Switch the hob off and let the fillet rest for 1 minute before serving.


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This recipe took a bit of time to make, but in my opinion the result is worth the effort. In addition, the stuffed onions reheat well and they can be used at BBQs too, just cook the second stage on the BBQ with the onion wrapped in foil. Make a few while you’re at it! The following amounts make 2 very large onions but with leftovers for a little wonderful treat too i.e. you could probably fill 4 large onions in reality, or 6 small ones.

You will need:

– either one large or 2 small-medium white onions

– 250 grams minced beef

– 2 teaspoons cumin

– 2 cloves of garlic

– 1 cup beef broth (1/4 cube in water)

– 1/2 cup grated cheese e.g. Parmesan / Grana

– 1 egg

How to make it:

First off you will need to peel and prepare your onions. Remove all inedible skin and then flatten at both ends, ideally using medium to large onions.

Set some water to boil and depending on the size of the onion you need to cook sufficiently to be able to remove some of the middle layers without letting the outer layers come apart. When using very large onions, I needed to boil them for 30 minutes until they were soft enough. Medium onions will need about 15 minutes. You can test their readiness by inserting a knife into the centre, when they are ready for the next stage, the flesh will give easily.

Scoop out of the water and let them cool for ten minutes before attempting to remove the inner layers with a spoon, leaving about 3 layers on the outside and they should look something like this:

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Whilst your onion is cooling down, set your oven to pre-heat to 180 degrees C.

Once you scoop out the inner layers, chop these up and transfer them to a heated pan with a dollop of olive oil. You might not want to use all the onion pieces if you had very large onions to start off with. Add the garlic and meat and cook until all the meat has browned.

Turn off the heat and while your mixture is still in the pan, add half the cheese and the egg and mix thoroughly.

Place the onions in an oven dish and stuff the insides with your mixture to the very top. Cover the tops with the remaining cheese. Pour your stock around the onions and place in the oven for 30 minutes, making sure to pour some stock from the dish itself over the top of the onions (you can do this with a teaspoon, be careful it will be very hot!) half way through.

While the oven was hot, I decided to cook an aubergine too. I wrapped this in foil and let it cook for 30 minutes. Then I scooped out the insides after letting it cool for a few minutes. I mixed the insides of the aubergine with the remaining meat mixture and then topped this up with leftover onion pieces and some cumin and olive oil. Then I cooked this for a further 30 minutes. Delicious!

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