Catherine Fulvio Catherine is back on RTÉ One with a brand new heart-warming cooking and travel programme, 'Tastes Like Home', where she visits Irish people living abroad to recreate the dish that reminds them of Ireland and their loved ones.

Ingredients

  • 600g pork fillet, trimmed
  • 10 strips of pancetta
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

For the Stuffing:

  • 8 Medjool or ready-to-eat dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 4 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • sprigs of thyme and 4 bay leaves
  • rapeseed oil

For the Sauce:

  • 150g your favourite mushroom selection, sliced
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 6 small sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 220ml double cream
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • sprigs of thyme, to garnish

Method

Catherine says: "We had this on a family trip to Wexford. Claudio liked it so much, he ordered the same again on the second night of our stay! When he got home, he tried to recreate it, so this is now also known as 'Dad's Pork' in our house. We've also made it with diced dried apricots and even fresh pears when in season, and it's still much loved."

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
  2. To prepare the pork fillet, make an incision along the top but not cutting all the way through the meat. Lay the pancetta in strips underneath the pork. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. To make the stuffing, place the dates, thyme, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and hazelnuts into a small bowl and mix well.
  4. Spoon the mix into the incision in the fillet. Then lift and cross the pancetta strips over the meat.
  5. Place the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves on top and tie 3 pieces of string around the fillet – one near each end and one in the middle – to secure the filling.
  6. To cook, heat some rapeseed oil in a casserole dish over a high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the fillet is cooked through. Remove, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.
  7. To make the sauce, place the casserole dish back on the hob, then add the mushrooms, brandy and thyme sprigs and sauté until the mushrooms are just cooked. Add the peppercorns and sauté for 1 minute before pouring in the cream. Leave to simmer for about 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
  8. To serve, slice the pork fillet and place a few slices on each serving plate. Spoon over some mushroom sauce and serve with potatoes roasted with a little thyme and baked sweet potato wedges.

Tastes Like Home is on RTÉ One Friday nights at 7.30pm to 8pm. If you miss the programme, watch it on the RTÉ Player here.