Gin-soaked pork for Easter dinner? Yes please!

Whip up a delicious Anglo-Danish dish inspired by April's Gin of the Month with this gin-soaked recipe from our resident gin chef, Carol Donner.

Kongsgaard gin soaked apple sauce and pork dinner

 April is here, and so is spring. How lovely to finally feel the sun on one’s back (albeit briefly) and to see the blossom appear as the last of the daffodils fade away. And of course, Easter and time to feast after the fast of Lent…and no, I did not give up my gin and tonic!

So, onto April’s recipe. Our Gin of the Month, Kongsgaard, hails from Denmark and has notes of apple and ginger. So, I thought: what can I do with this to further reflect the Danish home of this delicious gin?

The result was an Anglo-Danish fusion dish of pork with apple sauce. The dish uses both pork and bacon, Denmark being a world famous producer of both, but I used English products as I like to buy home produced meat where possible. Apple sauce is a very British addition but this sauce is very different.

The dish is a little fiddly to make, but the meat can be prepared ahead and steamed, and the sauce also prepared ahead, even the previous day. It is a stunning looking dish on the plate, and would make a wonderful choice for a special meal or a dinner party. Any leftover pork is delicious sliced cold with chutney.

I hope you enjoy it.

Pork Fillet

with KONGSGAARD GIN Apple Sauce

(serves 4-6 depending on size of fillets and portions)

Ingredients:

2 whole pork fillets (tenderloins)

Approx. 20 thin rashers smoked streaky bacon (air dried is best)

2 tbsp oil

6 juniper berries

1 heaped tsp finely minced fresh ginger

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Fresh ground black pepper

2 medium eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used Braeburn)

30g unsalted butter

60ml Kongsgaard Gin

100ml cloudy apple juice

3 tsp concentrated chicken stock

To serve:

Sautéed apples

Method:

In a pestle and mortar grind the juniper berries and ginger until a smooth paste. Add thyme and 2 rashers of bacon, chopped into small pieces. Season with black pepper.

Take the pork fillets and trim off the ends so they are a neat cylinder shape (the ends can be kept for a stir fry). Also cut away any silvery sinew on the surface of the fillet, as this will cause the meat to curl up when cooking. Cut a slit in along the length of each fillet, about halfway down. Stuff the lemon, ginger, herb and bacon mix into this slit.

Now take two pieces of foil, both longer and wider than the fillets. Brush the foil with oil and lay strips of bacon on top, each strip slightly overlapping the other. When you have enough bacon to cover the length of the fillet, lay the fillet on top and use the foil to wrap the bacon around the fillet. Make sure you have wrapped the pork as tightly as possible in the foil, the squeeze the ends of the foil tight like two Christmas crackers.

Pop the two fillets into a steamer and steam for 25-30 mins depending on size.

After steaming, place the foil-wrapped fillets on a plate to cool and collect any juices that run out. At this stage the parcels can be placed in the refrigerator overnight, or else left until cool enough to handle and unwrap.

Melt the butter in a frying pan with a little oil to prevent burning and brown the pork rolls on all sides. Reserve the butter in the pan.

Place pork on a roasting tin and warm through at 180C in the oven for 15-20 mins.

Add the chopped apple to the butter in the pan and cook gently for 5 mins. Add the gin, apple juice, chicken stock and any juices from the pork and simmer gently until the apple is soft.

Pop in a blender and purée until perfectly smooth. Check seasoning. If the sauce is a little too thick for your taste, then slacken it down with a little more apple juice and/or gin.

Remove pork and rest covered for 5 minutes, then carve into 2cm slices. Serve with a little of the Kongsgaard apple sauce and sautéed apples

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