Flattened pork with lemon and garlic
Sometimes you just need to eat something ridiculously flavoursome which is also super quick to cook – bashed and flattened pork loin steaks with loads of garlic and lemon juice does it for me.
I am very fussy about where I buy my pork as the way pigs are farmed and cared for makes a huge difference in how it tastes. I only buy the pork loin steaks for this recipe from the Waitrose meat counter (they sell the Hampshire breed of pork from smaller farms), M&S (they definitely work with some fabulous pig farmers) or a very good butcher.
Giving the pork steaks a good bash, flattens them out to double the size and seriously tenderises the meat. It means that the pork is cooked in a couple of minutes. You also need to be very mindful of the temperature; pork this thin cannot handle a high heat. The muscle fibres scrunch up and become horribly tough and dry. Always use a medium low heat, unfortunately it means that the pork will stay pale, but will be so soft!
This was the very first meat recipe I weaned my little boys with when they were about 7 months old because the meat is so beautifully soft when cooked like this. I used to cut up tiny pieces to pop into their little mouths. The one thing I noticed is that they loved the garlicky sour lemon sauce drizzled into their creamy mash potatoes – seriously delicious.
2-3 pork loin steaks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic clove finely minced
fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
fresh parsley, finely chopped to garnish
Place a dry medium size heavy bottom frying pan onto a medium-low heat. Give it a few minutes to heat through while you prepare the ingredients.
Cut away all the fat from the pork loin steaks. Cover a steak with parchment/baking paper or cling film and then bash with a rolling pin or a meat tenderiser to flatten the steak. The thinner you bash the steak the quicker it will cook and the more tender to eat.
Add the olive oil to the pan and melt in the butter. Add the pork and fry for 2 minutes on a medium-low heat. Turn the pork over and give this side a couple more minutes. At the same time, add the finely minced garlic and when it begins to colour after a minute squeeze the fresh lemon juice into the pan. As the meat is so thin it literally cooks in a couple of minutes. Turn the heat off and sprinkle with some fresh parsley. Leave the pork in the pan to rest for 10 minutes – this step is important as it gives the meat a chance to relax and soften.
Serve up with some creamy mash potato to soak up the garlicky lemon juices, a green salad of peas.
Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking 6 minutes, resting 10 minutes, serves 4