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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Balsamic and tomato pork casserole

I always have a little chuckle with myself when trying to come up with names for my dishes. (I work alone so I don't have the option of sharing my hilarious ramblings with anyone else) You see, the one pictured above is: 'a balsamic and smoked paprika pork fillet casserole with tomato and red peppers' but that just sounds ridiculous, I might as well copy and paste the ingredients list or call it 'pork fillet with 9 other things'. You have to sum it up in a way that explains the dish, like naming a child in a way, as you want its name to represent all of its characteristics - but realistically if I called it 'Andrea' people would be right to want to put me in the loony bin*.You want something simple, but not as unappealing as 'tomato pork' or 'pork thing'. So you have another cup of coffee and sigh a bit more and come up with: 'Balsamic and tomato pork casserole' (personally I think 'Andrea' sounds better).

It's delicious (although I tend to say everything I make is delicious, I hope I am not starting to sound vein, if I am, I apologize) But you must take my word for it and make it with the Butter Bean Mash as an accompaniment - it knocks the socks off normal mash and takes 2 minutes - literally 2 minutes - to make.

*(I don't have children and this was meant to be funny, so to all of you out there with children I was making a joke, not trying to equate naming my food with the countless hours you all spent finding names for your beautiful bundles of joy)

Balsamic and tomato pork casserole

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 300-350g pork fillets
60ml balsamic
Olive oil
2 onions (peeled and sliced)
2 red peppers (cored and sliced)
1 tin tomatoes (cut up)
1 cup veg/chicken stock
30g sugar
1tsp smoked paprika (if you can't get smoked, you can use normal paprika)
1tsp thyme

Mashed potato or butter bean mash to serve

Preheat oven to 190*C
Put a non-stick pan on high heat.
Season the pork fillets with salt and black pepper and, once the pan is almost smoking, brown in the pan for 2 minutes on each side. Pour 1/2 the balsamic (30ml) into the pan with the fillets and turn the pork to coat as the balsamic reduces to a syrup. (This will take approx 4 minutes)
Put the pork fillets into a med/large casserole dish and set aside.
Using the same pan, add a little olive oil and then the onions, peppers and a little salt and fry for about 8 minutes, tossing continuously, until slightly caramelised and softened.
Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, sugar and balsamic and simmer to reduce for a further 10 minutes.
Pour on top of the pork fillets, sprinkle over the thyme and smoked paprika and cover with a lid/foil.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes*.
Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Cut the fillet into portions and serve with butter bean mash. (See below)

*To tell if the pork is cooked through, simply press different areas of the fillet gently with your index finger, all areas should feel the same i.e. slightly firm - if the centre of the fillet is much softer than the ends then it needs a few more minutes in the oven.

Butter bean mash

2 tins butter beans (drained)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove (thinly sliced)

Place a small sauce pan on medium heat and pour in the butter beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and a little salt and pepper. Mash as you heat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, then cover and set aside.


  1. I love Andrea too! It would seem we have been craving similar foods lately! I posted a fish dish with a tomato and red pepper sauce today too! Is this a 'great minds' or "fool never" moment ... nahhhh, just good taste buddies!

    Love this idea my angel and I must admit butter bean mash is an ABSOLUTE FAVE of mine! too!

    Have a bril evening darling

    1. I saw that today!!! Had a giggle about it myself, was going to offer an exchange :)
      Butter bean mash for life - guess what I spent all my Rhodes vouchers on teehee!
      lots of love to you fab lady