This dish started off as almost daily headache of 1) protein option and 2) how to cook it.
Pork was the chosen protein and it really came down to what choice cuts were available. Fillet or tenderloin would have in normal days would have been sliced & stir fried into Ginger Pork or paired with spinach into Pork Roulade .
The word ‘en croute’ crept into my mind unannounced. A quick Google made the final decision. The end result, was delicioso, dressing of the pork could have been better if I had taken the time to thaw my frozen puff pastry instead of using my stash of frozen roti prata pastry as a puff pastry.
I am still not convinced that the word ‘Florentine’ should be part of the recipe title as this recipe has no cream, no butter or cheese added.
Pork Florentine en Croute
500g pork fillet/tenderloin
1 cup cooked spinach, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 caps brown mushrooms, chopped (shitake or button)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed in fridge
- Use fresh or frozen spinach. If using fresh spinach, quick blanch/cook spinach in boiling water. If using frozen spinach, defrost only what you need. Allow the spinach (cooked) to be drained of any extra water/liquids.
- Season the spinach together with the chopped mushroom with 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon of the ground sage. Set aside.
- Season the pork with a mixture of salt, pepper, garam masala & sumac. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. I used 2 small pieces of pork fillet/tenderloin as that was what was available. It would be best if you are able to get the whole piece of fillet/tenderloin, then you only need to prepare 1 portion instead of the 2 that I did.
- Heat a frying pan and lightly sear all the pork fillet/tenderloin in some oil. A nice browning helps to cook the pork a little. Put aside to cool slightly for easier handling.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Time to wrap. Lay the puff pastry on the parchment paper.
- Spread the spinach/mushroom mixture on the puff pastry, leaving about 1 cm of the edges free.
- Place the pork fillet/tenderloin on top of the spinach/mushroom.
- Wrap the pork in the puff pastry, try to get the spinach/mushroom around the fillet/tenderloin.
- Press down the edges of the pastry to seal the meat.
- Turn the pastry sausage around so that the open edges of the pastry is on the bottom.
- Cut some slits on the top of the puff pastry.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or when the pastry turns golden brown.
Note: I don’t normally use an egg wash for my pastry as a personal preference. If however, you would prefer to have a ‘glaze’ just lightly beat an egg with about 1 tablespoon of water and brush the glaze on the top of the pastry before baking.