TO DRINK: Vondeling Chardonnay
Balsamic and olive glazed pork fillets with herb and ricotta polenta, steamed greens and crispy noodles
- 500ml (2 cups) balsamic vinegar
- 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 30ml (2 tbsp) Dijon mustard
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 250ml (1 cup) black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1L (4 cups) milk
- 100g salted butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 500g polenta
- 60ml (¼ cup) fresh sage, thyme and parsley, chopped
- 250g ricotta cheese, crumbled
- 4 packets pak choi
- 1kg long-stem asparagus
- 4 medium pork fillets
- 2 x 150g packets Chinese rice noodles
- sunflower oil, for frying
Make the marinade by mixing the balsamic, olive oil, mustard, garlic, thyme and sliced olives. Refrigerate until ready to marinate the meat.
Heat the milk, butter and seasoning in a large pot over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the polenta, slowly whisking at the same time to prevent lumps. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the polenta has a porridge-like consistency.
Fold the fresh herbs and crumbled ricotta into the polenta mix but do not over-mix. Keep the cheese in lumps. Pour into a well-oiled baking tray and smooth out. Place in the fridge to set, about 40 minutes. Cut into portion sizes, either rounds or squares.
Blanch the pak choi and asparagus then refresh in an ice bath to retain their colour. Drain and reheat in the oven when ready to plate.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut the pork fillets into eight portions and place in the refrigerated marinade for 5 minutes. Do not over-marinate or the pork will be sour. Remove the excess marinade from the fillets and pan-fry in a smoking hot pan, sealing on all sides then transfer to the oven and cook for 7 minutes. Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes.
Reheat the vegetables and polenta in a hot oven before serving, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining marinade to the pan and reduce, about 5 minutes.
Heat a pot with sunflower oil over high heat and drop in the noodles a handful at a time. These only take seconds to cook. Once doubled in size, remove and place on paper towel to drain then season.
To serve, place a polenta cake in the middle of each plate. Top with the asparagus and pak choi, followed by the fillet. Drizzle the fillet with the reduced marinade and place the crispy fried noodles on top.