I met Jo Randell at one of the Cookham Media Hub events. I knew she’d been writing about wine for a local publication and a friend told me she was good at it. I don’t usually read about wine, but in her column and on her blog Perfect Friday Wine, Jo strips back all the jargon and industry talk and explains in a relatable way, how and why certain wines are worth taking a chance on. She’s on a mission to sing the praises of lesser known brands and varieties, taking a viticulture bullet for us all so we don’t have to waste money on the narrow and populist choices that are available in the supermarkets. Australian wines that are stocked by supermarkets are the ones I would never touch back home. Unsurprisingly, they go with the wineries who can offer the biggest barrels at the best prices, selections that have nothing to do with taste. So if you’re looking to take your enjoyment of wine to the next level but you’re not willing to buy into the myth that good wine must be expensive, then Jo’s blog is a good place to start.
Jo’s enthusiasm for wine is genuine, she’s on her way to becoming a certified expert and even taken the plunge into retail with a subscription wine and pop-up business. We’ve decided to team up to create the perfect recipe and wine matches and while we thought we’d start with an English wine pairing, Jo felt that the recipe I came up with would actually go better with a little Spanish number. I’m telling you this so you know that this isn’t a PR exercise, it’s the real deal. We love food and we love wine and we’re going to help you enjoy the best of both.
I’d never thought of making crumbed pork with the fillet, it seemed like a waste of a tender cut, but after a visit to Quintessential Meats in Warfield – who are famous for their pork – the butcher recommended that I try it. It was difficult for me not to add anything but sage to the crumb mix. A little garlic or Parmesan might have been nice, but I wanted the flavour of the pork to shine and sage has a powerful flavour so I thought it best to keep things simple. I love coleslaw with crumbed meat, and this apple slaw is sweet, fresh and juicy and perfect for warmer weather.
Sage-Crumbed Pork Fillet with Sweet Apple Coleslaw
1 large fillet of pork (approx 500g)
2 cups of bread crumbs
2-3 tsp of fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Slice medallions of pork from the fillet, approximately 2cm in thickness. Bash out with a meat hammer to flatten out into a small piece the size of the palm of your hand.
Crumb the pork pieces in the usual way, dust thoroughly in flour, dip into a egg and milk mix and coat with crumbs.
Fry in 180C oil until the crumb are golden brown. Don’t be tempted to over cook or the meat will lose it’s tender, silky texture.
Apple Coleslaw Recipe
1 sweetheart cabbage, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 red apple, grated skin on
For the dressing:
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp seeded mustard
Mix all the grated and sliced vegetables in a bowl.
Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake it all about.
Dress the salad, taste it and tweak it to your liking.
Serve the pork with steamed broccoli, boiled baby Jersey Royals seasoned with butter, chives and salt.
Jo recommends “Carignan, or Carinena as it’s known in Spain, the Cellar El Masroig Sola Fred Tinto would go really nicely with the herby nature of this dish as it’s a little more savoury than other Carignans that I’ve tried. So why the Sola Fred? Well, not only is it one of my favourite sub-£10 wines at the moment (I am LOVING Spanish wines at the mo), but it is savoury and fresh and fruity (think red cherries), not too heavy and has some bright acidity – spot on with pork. Originally, I’d had that pork lined up for an English White, but the mere suggestion of sage, herbaciousness and ‘spring-like’, lead me to mentally open and pour myself a glass of the Cellar El Masroig Sola Fred Tinto, in the time it takes me to unwrap a slab of Manchego. Read more of Jo’s post here.”