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James Jolly’s Summertime Pork

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

The great thing about this recipe is that you can vary the proportion of ingredients according to what you have - a few extra vegetables make no difference and can be used to expand the dish if you’ve more mouths to feed! But no buts, it’s got to be butter (using, say, olive oil, doesn’t have the same effect). But as pork fillet is a fairly low-fat cut, it’s not such an indulgence. The flavours meld beautifully, and the result is definitely more than the sum of its parts. I’ve been cooking this regularly for decades and it’s still as much a favourite as when my mother used to cook it.


Serves 2 greedy people or 3 or 4 with more modest appetites (see above)!


1 pork fillet (tenderloin) - cut into chunks or not-too-thin slices

2 carrots - chopped into centimetre chunks

1 large onion - chopped but not too fine, say in half and then into 4

2 sticks of celery - chopped into centimetre chunks

1 medium potato (I prefer waxy but any works) per person - chopped into chunks

1 tbsp butter




Cornflour or flour

Melt butter in casserole dish or large saucepan and sear meat until just coloured. Add onion, celery and carrot and toss around to cover in butter. Then add the potato chunks. Add water to just cover everything. Season well. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour. Check from time to time in case too much liquid boils off (you want a decent amount of juice). Test pieces of carrot and potato to see if they’re soft. Then thicken with either a heaped tablespoon of cornflour made into a paste with water, or, if you want to be posh, use a beurre manié (butter and flour creamed together and added bit by bit). Test seasoning, adorn with a few chives if you like, and serve. Nothing else is needed, except perhaps some crusty bread.

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