Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cider Sauce, Neeps and Tatties - Outlander on STARZ Episode 104
We've got a big night coming up at Castle Leoch this Saturday! MacKenzie men are traveling from near and far to pledge their troth to the Laird, and once the dirk kissing and quaich quenching are done, they'll spend the night in the Great Hall, drinking and feasting until the sun once again glows through the thick glass to wake everyone for the tynchal.
(Because it's always a good idea to get yourself a knife-sharp, eye-blurring hangover before heading out into the woods to bring down an animal with tusks as sharp as your sword.)
I think I'll stay in the kitchen with Mrs. Fitz and her maids. I'm of much more use once the boar is on the butcher's block.
Let's take a minute to admire the roomy domain of the castle cook - I admit I've got a fresh case of kitchen envy.
Great roaring fires, fresh herbs covering the work bench and a few extra pairs of hands to help with the work, including plucking those geese hanging over by the window after they've had a few extra days to ripen.
It certainly wouldn't be a walk in the park to feed all those people day after day, but I'd sure like to try it for a week. Would you?
This week's recipes celebrate the Gathering. The roast pork is in honour of the boar, and alongside I'm serving the classic Scottish combination of neeps and tatties. More on those down below.
First up is a pork tenderloin rubbed with sage and garlic, and served with a cider pan sauce. I pulled out my mortar and pestle to grind the rub and help me get better in touch with my inner 18th Century cook, but a small food processor will work too.
The whole meal comes together in under an hour.
As promised, after the main dish come the sides, and there are few side dishes as Scottish as neeps and tatties.
Neep is Scottish for rutabaga, as it is commonly known in parts of North America, or Swede, as many Commonwealth countries call it. Swedish turnip, yellow turnip, tumshie and baigie are just a few of its other names. Botanically, it is a cross between a turnip and wild mustard, and was first documented in 1620, growing in the wild in Sweden. It's the slightly yellowish mound on the left in the above picture.
As for the tatties, aka potatoes, there is some question as to whether or not Castle Leoch would have had potatoes in 1743. Potatoes were first introduced into Scotland in that very year by a clan chief returning from a visit to Ireland, but since Jamie was unfamiliar with them in Dragonfly in Amber, it's unlikely that said chief was a MacKenzie (or a Fraser, for that matter).
On the other hand, by 1800, potatoes accounted for approximately 80% of a Highlander's diet, so having them on the plate isn't too terribly anachronistic, aye?
Other Outlander Kitchen recipes that pair with Episode 104: The Gathering
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cider Sauce
:A savoury and fork-tender main dish worthy of the MacKenzie and the busy kitchens of his Castle Leoch.
Serves 2 to 3
- Pork Tenderloin - 1 lb
- Sage Leaves - 6 to 8
- Garlic, peeled - 1 clove
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Peppercorns - 12 (or ½ tsp ground pepper if using food processor)
- Olive Oil - 1 Tble and 1 tsp (divided)
- Apple Cider - 1 Cup (see notes)
- Apple Cider Vinegar - ? Cup
- Fresh Thyme - 1 Sprig (optional)
- Honey - 2 Tble
- Butter - 1 Tble
Move oven rack to upper middle position and heat to 400° F.
Remove silver skin from tenderloin. (How to video here.)
Combine the sage, garlic, salt and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or small food processor. Pound and mash (or pulse) into an almost smooth paste. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Spread herb paste over pork. Heat heavy pan over medium high, brush with 1 teaspoon oil. When oil just begins to smoke, add pork and sear until golden on all sides, about 4 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, transfer pork to baking dish and roast in oven until internal temperature reaches 145° F, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and tent with foil to keep warm.
While pork cooks, return pan to element and add cider, vinegar and optional thyme, scraping up brown bits. Reduce liquid over medium high until ½ cup remains. Reduce heat to low, stir in honey to dissolve, then finish with butter. Whisk until smooth.
Slice meat, serve hot with cider sauce and neeps and tatties, or side dish of your choice.
Neeps and Tatties
:A Scottish union of epic proportions, these two vegetables are the traditional accompaniment to Haggis.
Serves 2 to 3
- Rutabega, Swede, Yellow Turnip - ½ lb
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - 1 lb (see notes)
- Butter - ? Cup
- Whipping Cream - 3 Tble
- Salt & Pepper - to taste
Peel rutabaga, cut into 2” chunks, and place in a pot with ½” water. Add a healthy pinch of salt to water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium high.
Peel potatoes if desired (see notes), quarter and place in pot with ½” water. Add a healthy pinch of salt to water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium high.
When both pots are boiling, reduce to medium low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and return to their respective pans.
Mash rutabaga until smooth. Stir in half the butter and 1 tablespoon of cream. Season to taste. Cover to keep warm.
Mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in remaining butter and cream. Season to taste.
Serve hot with Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cider Sauce, or the main dish of your choice..
Store leftovers in fridge for up to 3 days.
- Use your choice of alchoholic (hard) cider, or non-alcoholic (soft) cider.
- To ensure the pork cooks evenly, fold the thin tail end of the tenderloin under itself as you put the meat into the pan to sear, and keep it folded under while in the oven.
- Yukon Gold potatoes are yellow-fleshed tubers higher in moisture than Russets.
- The skin of my potatoes was tender enough to leave on. I love the added texture and nutrition that comes with leaving the skin on. Peel yours if you prefer.
- For those of you who are having a coronary just looking at the amount of butter, know that I dramatically reduced the amount compared to most traditional recipes I found. Feel free to add as much (or as little) butter as you like.