Succulent pan-fried pork fillet with creamy mushroom risotto is the perfect date night recipe for two.
Date nights in are our absolute best and if you’re still wondering what to do for Valentine’s Day, this is the answer right here. Wouldn’t you rather spend the night eating a delicious home-cooked meal and watching Netflix? Uh, yes! And not to blow my own horn, but this pork fillet recipe is so fantastic for an easy date night in.
I never need an excuse to make risotto but if you are cooking for your beloved (or potential beloved), going that extra mile and making a creamy, luscious risotto will definitely score you a few points. It’s a labor of love and the end result is so worth it. Mushroom risotto on it’s own is a winner but adding succulent pork fillet (or tenderloin) cooked with garlic and fragrant rosemary just takes it up a notch. You could easily swap the pork out for beef fillet or even chicken breasts, if you were that way inclined.
I added a little trickle of truffle oil to the risotto as an added indulgence but if you don’t have it or are not a fan, feel free to omit it.
I served the risotto and pork fillet with wilted greens and honestly, it was one of the best date nights we’ve had in a long while. Added bonus: I didn’t have to do my hair or make-up AND I wore leggings. If that’s not winning, what even is?
How do you cook a fillet of pork?
Pork fillet or pork tenderloin is a delicious cut of meat that is very easy to cook. Simply pan-sear the pork fillet until browned all over then add flavorings of your choice (rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, lemon all work well) and cook over medium heat until the pork is cooked to your preference. Pork fillet is cooked when it reaches 62ºC/145ºF on a meat thermometer. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How do I make the perfect risotto?
Sauté onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft and translucent then add Arborio rice and wine. Allow the wine to absorb then slowly add hot stock (chicken/vegetable) while stirring regularly until the rice is cooked and creamy. Beat in the butter, truffle oil (if using) and Parmesan and season to taste.
Can I make risotto without wine?
Absolutely, simply substitute with stock.
Can I make risotto ahead?
Risotto really is better when cooked and eaten immediately. I have, however, done a bit of prep ahead in the past and it’s worked well. You can par-boil the rice for 5 minutes in boiling water then drain and spread onto a baking sheet to cool. This cuts down the cooking time for the final risotto. You do lose out on a bit of the creaminess resulting from the rice cooking and being stirred so you can add a splash of cream at the end of cooking if required.
Date night pork fillet with mushroom risotto
for the mushroom risotto
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 250 g approximately 2-3 cups mushrooms of your choice, sliced
- 1 cup Arborio/Risotto rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 3-4 cups stock I used beef stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil optional
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
for the pork fillet
- 1 x 300-400g pork fillet sliced in half (resulting in two even pieces of fillet)
- olive oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves
- fresh rosemary
- salt & pepper to taste
- To make the risotto, fry the onion in the a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan.
- When the onion is soft, add the garlic and fry for another 20 seconds or so then add the mushrooms. Fry until the mushrooms are golden brown then add the rice.
- Stir to coat the rice in the oil and aromatics then add the wine. Allow the wine to reduce then stir in the stock, ladle by ladle. Allow the rice to absorb the stock before adding more and stirring continuously. It is this continuous stirring that creates the creaminess risotto is known for.
- When the risotto has absorbed approximately half of the liquid, start tasting it regularly as a good risotto can quickly be ruined by over cooking. Your risotto might also not need all the stock or it might need more, it all depends on the rice's absorbency.
- When the risotto is cooked to your preference, stir in the butter and Parmesan and season to taste with lemon, truffle oil (if using), salt and pepper.
- Half way through making the risotto, heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil.
- Season the pork fillet then add to the pan and allow to brown all over.
- Add the garlic and rosemary and allow to cook until the pork is cooked to your preference.
- Remove the pork from the pan and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice into thick slices and serve with the risotto.