Mignons de Porc à l’ail
Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking
Published by Bloomsbury USA
This is one of the most popular dishes at Les Halles. Yet another dish that would really benefit from a stash of good demi-glace.
Small roasting pan
Total Timea day or more
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturebuttery, garlicky, herby, juicy, meaty, savory, smoky
- 4 heads of garlic confit
- 4 pork tenderloins, about 10 ounces (280 g) each
- 2 slices of bacon
- 1 tbsp (14 ml) olive oil
- 3 tbsp (42 g) butter
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup (56 ml) white wine
- ½ cup (110 ml) strong, dark chicken or veal stock
- 1 sprig of flat parsley, finely chopped
Use the fork to mash half of the garlic cloves. Reserve the remaining cloves separately in the small bowl. Lay two of the tenderloins down across the cutting board. Lay some plastic wrap across them and give them a light pounding with the heel of your hand. You’re looking to flatten the tenderloins ever so slightly on the fatter end. Remove and discard the plastic wrap.
Top the tenderloins with the mashed garlic, spreading the pastelike substance evenly along the length of the tenderloins. Lay the bacon slices across the garlic the long way. Now lay the other two tenderloins on top of the first two, the fatter ends pointing in the opposite direction from the ones on the bottom, so that they nestle together in a yin-yang sort of a way, creating a fairly even-shaped tube. Using kitchen string, tie each double tenderloin together tightly and evenly at several points along the tube (that way it can be sliced into medallions without cutting the string). Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the tenderloins from the refrigerator. In the sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, season the pork, then add it to the pan, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the pork over high heat for about 6 to 8 minutes per side, after which the meat should be nicely browned. Place the meat in the roasting pan and finish cooking in the oven for about 20 minutes. When cooked through, but still moist in the center, remove from the oven and allow to rest on the plate.
If you’re in a hurry, you can slice the pork into medallions when raw, then individually sear each medallion. That way you won’t need to use the oven.
Discard the fat from the sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter. Heat over medium-high heat, then add the shallots. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the shallots are soft. Stir in the wine with the wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to dislodge the good stuff. Cook over high heat until the wine is reduced to a glaze consistency, then stir in the stock. Cook over high heat until it’s reduced by half. (At this point you should, if you can, whisk in a spoon of that good demi-glace from your stash.) Add any drippings from the plate that’s holding your cooked pork. Whisk the remaining tablespoon (14 g) of butter into the sauce, as well as the remaining cloves of garlic confit and the parsley. A little splash of raw wine at this point is nice, too.
Slice the pork into 1½-inch (4-cm) medallions, arrange them around the platter, and spoon over the sauce. This dish is very good with mashed potatoes, in which case, you might want to arrange the medallions on and around the potatoes, with the garlic confit-studded sauce also poured over and around. Delicious.
2004 Anthony Bourdain