Saltimbocca translates to ‘jump in the mouth’ and it sure does! Veal saltimbocca was served at the first restaurant I worked in. I remember watching it go across the pass, the smell of the white wine emanating from the glossy sauce and steam drifting from its accompanying spring vegetable medley. This version uses a lean pork fillet instead of veal and is extra special with the addition of truffle, which is heightened by the lactic acid in the cultured butter. The sides are both excellent winter pairings.
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and stalked sliced
1 fennel head
3 baby leeks, sliced into 2cm lengths, washed
1 head garlic, whole
30g Ortiz anchovies
1 large lemon
80 ml Olive oil, 40ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Cut stalks from fennel, keeping the fronds. Slice bulb into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 wedges.
Put fennel, leeks and garlic into a dutch oven with 80ml olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a medium-high heat and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Add broccoli and continue cooking for another 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Add kale and continue cooking for another 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Add 50ml of water, place the lid on and put in the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
*Start pumpkin now*
After 20 minutes, take the greens out of the oven and stir. Remove garlic – it should be soft and steamed.
Place greens back in the oven for another 20 minutes. The greens are ready when the broccoli is disintegrating. Some colour around the edges is ok.
Peel the garlic and squeeze into a mortar and pestle. Add the anchovy and grind into a paste.
Squeeze lemon and add the juice, add 40 ml olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside.
To serve: Dress the warm greens with the anchovy dressing and serve straight from the dutch oven.
Slice 3 of the quarters into wedges and place on a lined baking tray. Dress with olive oil, season with salt and grated nutmeg.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until pumpkin is coloured.
At the same time, toast the hazelnuts for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool then roughly chop and set aside.
Take the remaining quarter of pumpkin, remove the skin and cut into cubes. Boil cubes for 20 minutes until soft. Puree in a food processor, pass through a sieve and spread across a plate to cool completely.
When the pumpkin puree is cool, weigh 150g and fold through crème fraiche. Season with grated nutmeg and salt. Set aside at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 120c.
Remove any sinew from the pork and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the fillet into four even pieces.
Create 25cm long pieces of cling film with two layers each. Place a piece pork between the layers and gently but firmly hammer the meat into and even piece (around 1cm thickness is good). You can use a mallet, pestle or wine bottle.
Place 2 sage leaves in the centre of each piece, and then place a piece of prosciutto on one side. If it’s thin and room temp, it should stick nicely to the fillet. Dust each fillet with flour and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the 80g butter on a medium heat until completely melted and beginning to bubble. Add the four fillets, prosciutto-side down and cook for around 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from butter and place on paper towel on a tray in the oven.
Add white wine to the skillet and reduce on a high heat until glossy (4-6 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 40g butter until combined. Sauce should look cohesive and not split or watery.
Using a microplane, grate in around 1/3 of the truffle to the sauce.
Place hot pumpkin in a serving dish and dress with pumpkin crème, hazelnuts and fennel fronds. Add a spoon of greens.
Remove saltimbocca from the oven and place on plates Cover with hot sauce and shave generous amounts of truffle on top (around 4g per person). If you don’t have a truffle shaver, you can use a mandolin or a microplane.