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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pork Fillet Ballontine with Pesto and Fennel

 Looks difficult but it was actually rather simple. A little messing about but a very pleasing result.

1 pork fillet
3 tbs pesto
3 mushrooms
1 chilli
3 slices fennel
8 sheets prosciutto
1 tbs olive oil

Carefully slice pork fillet down the side but not all the way through then fold out the piece of meat. Lay out a piece of cling film, place the meat on and cover with more cling film. Beat the meat out using a meat mallet or a knife sharpening steal until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Halve the piece of meat. Place four pieces of prosciutto on a large-ish sheet of cling film, overlapping slightly. Place each piece of meat on the separate prosciutto sheets. Paint 1/2 the pesto on each piece of meat. Blitz the mushroom, chilli and fennel in a blender. You will need stop a few times and push the gear down to the blades. Lay the mushroom mixture in a sausage form along the top side of each pork fillet. Trim the excess prosciutto from each end. Using the cling film to help you, gently yet firmly roll the pork into a sausage shape then twist round and round until you have an even, firm sausage, tie knots in the end and refrigerate until required.

2/3 fill a medium sized saucepan to simmering then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Gently slide in a bread plate so that it points up then place in your ballontines. It may be necessary to weigh down your ballontine, I used a spatula. Every few minutes, scoop out a little water and add in some fresh water to keep the temperature from becoming too high. Cook for about 35 minutes or so. I cooked mine for 30 and felt as though they could have done with just a touch more. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove from the plastic wrap and fry in a frying pan until well coloured all over. If you want to, deglaze the pan with some wine and a little stock, reduce then, add a little butter and maybe some herbs or lemon.


  1. Wow, this looks fantastic. Please link it in to Food on Friday: Pork. Cheers

  2. I gladly will Carole; can you tell me how please?