As pointed out to me by one of my twitter followers (thanks again, Rachel), those who can – do, those who can’t – blog. So to prove I can cook, I thought I’d give my legion of fan a recipe, and what better cuisine than French?
A Balloutine is an elaborate French preparation that means “Farce Loaf”, which is I’m sure is a reference to its birth – invented for the first Kyoto Summit. Consisting of rolled mince and draped in a delectable ham or pastry (or perhaps both), the Balloutine is a spirited and sophisticated dish not to be attempted by the faint-hearted. With the better half still enjoying the Japanese festival, I’ve taken to cooking smaller portion sizes, so I present to you, a Balloutine for one:
Pork and Shallot Balloutine
50g Fresh Bread crumbs
100g Puff Pastry
2-3 Sweet Shallots (I used Onions here as I was out of Shallots)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. You can test the oven is at temperature by asking your children if it burns when they touch it.
- Place the Passata in a large pot on the stove on medium-low, taking care to stir frequently.
- Mince the pork using a number three die fitted to a bench-top mincer or a hammer drill.
- Chop Shallots (in my case Onions) to a fine dice.
- Roll the dice and shout “Yahtzee”
- Mix the mince, bread-crumbs, egg and dice together, working the meat to extract the proteins and improve the structure of the meat.
- Spread the pastry out onto your work bench, making a sausage of the mixture on the edge nearest to you.
- Roll the pastry over the mixture until it forms a cylinder and press gently on the join to seal.
- While a personal choice, I like to cook my Balloutine “En Papillote” or “In Paper” which helps to steam the Balloutine in its own juices and maintain it’s tenderness. If you don’t have the time, simply not putting in paper will achieve the same result.
- Place the Balloutine in the oven for an entire episode of Game of thrones, being sure to fast forward through the ads.
- Remove from the oven, pour the reduced passata over the top and enjoy!