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Pork, Fennel Butter, Cherry, Chilli & Red Wine

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You know when you have one of those moments, you see something you don’t need but you so want it… well I could not resist the temptation when finding fresh, plump , juicy looking cherries.

I’d already picked up the pork fillet. Short of over-dosing on cherries I decided I had to do something with them.

At first, it seemed like a strange concoction – but we soldiered on, confident that the flavours would work. Basted in fennel infused ‘butter’ and roasted until juicy and tender, the pork was absolutely divine and sure enough it was superb with the cherries! We halved the cherries, ground a dry chilli, covered the cherries in red wine and added a little tamarind and then let the liquid simmer down. It was such a simple concoction but it tasted fantastic! We hope you try it, and we hope you love it!


1 pork fillet (approx 450gm)
2 tbsp. fennel seeds
3 tbsp. nuttelex
salt & pepper to season
500gm fresh cherries
1 long red chilli, dried
1 1/2 c red wine
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. tamarind puree
handful fresh sage leaves for garnish


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan forced).
Rub salt and pepper all over the pork fillet.
Use a mortar and pestle to roughly pound the fennel seeds.
Add the nuttelex and fennel seeds to a fry pan and fry the fennel seeds until fragrant. Add the pork and brown on all sides, basting with the fennel butter as you go.
Halve and pit the cherries. Add the cherries, red wine, tamarind and balsamic to a pot. Crush the chilli into the pot and combine the ingredients.
Place on a medium-high heat and bring to the simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low as the wine cooks down.
Once the pork is browned, transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through, basting occasionally with the fennel butter.
The cherries will be ready once the liquid has reduced to a sauce and coats the cherries.
Rest the pork for 5-10 minutes covered loosely with foil. At this point, place the sage leaves in the oven to crisp up.
Slice and serve topped with the cherry mixture and garnished with crisp sage leaves.
Optional: make a simple parsnip/celeriac puree to serve with.