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Recipe Number Seven  February 2003

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I know what Victor Meldrew would have said; I don't believe it. In my last cookery page, written for December, I wrote about my ageing fishing gear. My old faithful rods and odds and sods that only fishermen collect, the very items that have been my passport to the great escape, at least for a few hours, have gone. It was by a chance glance at the garage door that I saw that all was not well. I could not be off missing it. Maybe it was the fact that the garage door was merrily swinging in the wind and on closer inspection it was even clearer to me, as the round thing I was standing on was the old brass handle that had been ripped from the garage door. It was then that I felt that ‘I don't believe it; Meldrew’ seemed to have taken me over.  I headed straight indoors to report the crime to Mrs R. With a strong cup of coffee inside me, it dawned on me that things maybe were not as bad as they seemed. The contents were well insured, and in the words of Mr Woo, its turned out fine again.
After the fourth cup of coffee and as it's a new year I thought that I would have a go at keeping a few New Year resolutions. How about giving up my old trusty pipe? We go back a long time. I was the only boy caught smoking a pipe behind the bike sheds. The teacher that caught me and three other boys told us that he could smell the scent of golden rough-cut shag 200 yards away. How about cutting my working week down to say, two days a week. The bank manager I believe would pooh pooh that if I asked for his comments. Then it came to me; no need to go silly.  How about all the little things that send Mrs R into orbit:  things like putting the toilet seat down, after use putting my razor back in its little plastic holder, and then there is the soap on the hand basin. I am constantly being reminded that I must not leave sticky side down, as it often takes a crowbar to remove. The more I began to think about these simple New Year resolutions, that I could take on board, the list seemed to grow. Will you please put both socks in the laundry bin as you now have a drawer full of odd socks? I am a sure that some where in the house is a great mountain of odd socks just waiting to be reunited. Beer cans, that's another sore point. What’s that green box for? What green box? With the thoughts of the stolen fishing gear in the back of my mind, I was ready to give it my full shot on this New Year’s resolutions malarkey. All was well for a few days but then it had to happen. Who left the toilet seat up?? It didn't take long to work that one out as there was only Mrs R and me in the house. Dam silly thinking that things like toilet seats left up, razors left on the side of the sink, beer cans not put into the correct colour green box could ever be eradicated. It’s part of life. Anyhow there are next year’s resolutions, to look forward to. Over the New Year we had a few days off and I thought I would sweet talk, I mean, cook Mrs R. dinner.

 Fillet of Pork Wellington
With a fresh sage cream sauce

A classical dish just the job for a birthday treat or dinner party and one of many dishes on my new restaurant menu

  What’s required for two persons? With two or so very good butchers in the village pop in and ask for a pork fillet or it can be called pork tenderloin. Ask the butcher to remove any of the fine skin from the outside of the pork fillet and make sure the size will be enough for two persons. Season the fillet of pork with a little salt and if you have it freshly grated black pepper. Leave the pork in one piece and pop onto a baking tray. Drizzle a little oil on to the meat and place it into a preheated medium hot oven. Cooking time will be around 15/20 mins, the pork wants only to be pink. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool. You will require a small pack of shop bought puff pastry thawed out. Roll the pastry out on a floured table. The pastry needs to be thin. Take the cooled pork and place in the middle of the pastry. With the yolk of only one egg, brush egg round the outside of the pastry to form a seal; gently fold the pastry round the pork so it looks like a large sausage roll. With the rest of the egg, glaze the pastry ready for the oven. Place the pastry filled with pork into a medium hot oven for say, 15 mins, but a word of warning, with the pork inside cooked already, you are only cooking the pastry to a rich golden crispy brown. Keep an eye on it.

Next for the sauce, take a small pan, pop a little olive oil say two table spoons full in your pan and add around half of a very finely chopped white onion, followed by chopped fresh sage appox two table spoons. Leave for a tick over the heat for the onion to slowly cook out. Add if you have a little, around half a glass of, dry white wine and allow to reduce. After the sauce has reduced down to half add the fresh cream, say a very good splash or two. Turn the heat down to a very gentle heat and allow the cream, wine, onions and fresh sage to infuse, by this time the pork should be ready. Place the pork in pastry on a chopping board, take a very sharp knife and slice the Wellington, arrange on  good size plates, and pour with care the sage sauce around the pork.

Colin Rushmore

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