His parents may have called him Wombat, his wife-to-be may be fond of calling him ‘Big Willie’, but to us; he’s His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales.
This sensible and steadying Pork Wellington is in honour of the strapping man who will one day be the King of England.
Like him, this wellington is long, blonde and lean. It’s generous. It’s respectfully formal, yet unpretentious. It’s just the steadying sort of dish you’d want to eat if you’d spent your day rescuing stricken seamen in your helicopter.
If you probe beneath its slightly brittle pastry exterior you’ll find a swaddle of salty ham and a tangle of onions, sweetened with English cider. Under that there are two pork tenderloins, locked in a gentle hug.
As a man who waited eight years to propose well knows, timing is everything. It’s just the same here.
Cut the wellington too early and the pork will be shockingly pink. Too late and there’s a chance it will be tooth gratingly dry.
Pick your moment right and it will blush slightly pink and be heart-warmingly tender. That’s when it’s at its most charming. Just like our Prince.
Prince William Pork Wellington
Feeds 6-8 as a main course
Some kitchen string. A flat baking tray. A pastry brush. 1 large fry pan/ casserole dish.
2 pork tenderloins, or approximately 750 grams of pork or 1.6 pounds of pork ,
8 slices of parma ham
1 sheet puff pastry (approximately 375 grams or 0.8 pounds), thawed completely
1 cup of apple cider
3 brown onions
2 and a half tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest of small lemon, or 3/4 of a large lemon.
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Here’s how we roll
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius or around 400 F with a rectangular baking tray in it.
2. Prepare the onions. Slice them into thin half moons. Sauté them with the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil until they soft and lightly caramelised- don’t let them scorch.
3. Add the cup of cider and continue to sauté until the cider is reduced and the onions are sticky and brown (this may take up to 40 minutes). You want all of the liquid to have been absorbed and the onions to be quite dry. Allow the onions to cool.
4. Lay the prosciutto out on some baking paper so it overlaps. Put it to one side.
5. Tether the two pork fillets together top to tail with some kitchen string. Season them with salt, pepper and lemon zest.
6. Quickly seal the pork in a hot pan with a tablespoon of olive oil quickly to form a gentle crust.
7. Put the pork to one side.
8. Lay the cooled onion mixture over the top of the parma ham. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over the onion mixture. Place the pork at one end and cut the strings holding the two pieces together.
9. Use the baking paper to help you roll the pork so it’s wrapped in a blanket of onion, then parma ham, then the baking paper. Roll it as if you were rolling a sushi roll.
10. Put the roll in the fridge for 20 minutes to set into shape.
11. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle large enough to cover the pork. Make sure there’s a one inch border around the short ends of the rectangle and around 2 inches on each side .
12. Cut indents out of each corner, so the pastry resembles a fat Red Cross logo. (Cutting the extra pastry out of the corners will help make it easier to fold and wrap).
13. Place the pork in the centre of the pastry and fold in the pastry over the two ends. Now bring the two sides up to meet in the middle. Pinch the joins together.
14. Remove the baking tray from the oven.
15. Gently turn the wellington over and transfer on the baking paper to the hot baking tray.
16. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Add a novelty shape to the top of the pastry if you like.
17. Bake on the hot baking tray for around 40 minutes until the pastry is golden, or until the pork inside reaches 70 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook through as it stands. NB, the ends will be more well done than the centre.
18. Serve together with the Ginger Spiced Prince Harry Relish and some English greens.
Other items in the Royal Wedding Feast: