Foraged ingredients are all pretty new to me, and I often don’t really know what to do with them when I stumble across them in a market, but a taste of the wood sorrel I got this week was so tart and lemon flavoured that it was an easy one to imagine in a dish. Pork, fennel and lemon are a great combination, so I figured wood sorrel could happily take the place of lemon zest or juice.
I picked through the sorrel and found a couple of errant ivy leaves (I think they were ivy – that’s what they looked like anyway…) so I’d suggest you do the same should you come across wood sorrel on your rambles in the countryside or in the market.
My fennel bulb came with fronds attached, so I used them too. If yours doesn’t, not to worry.
Pork loin steaks with wood sorrel and fennel
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
One bulb fennel, cut into eighths lengthways and the fronds roughly chopped
Half teaspoon fennel seeds,
2 pork loin steaks
Slug of white wine
Tbsp creme fraiche
Handful of wood sorrel, picked through and roughly chopped
In a large, deep frying or saute pan, fry the fennel and fennel seeds in a little oil until the fennel eighths are brown and the fennel seeds smell good. Remove form the pan and set aside. Don’t worry if a few fennel seeds are left behind.
Cook the pork loin steaks in the same pan. Cook to your liking and according to the thickness of the steaks. I err on the side of keeping the pork a little pink, and mine were about an inch thick, so took about 10 minutes.
When the pork is cooked, remove from the pan and add both fennels back in. Add the white wine and fennel fronds and cook for a few minutes. Then add the creme fraiche and wood sorrel, and combine to make a sauce. Check how it tastes and season to your liking. Add the pork steaks back to the pan along with any resting juices and give the pan a shake to mix everything about a little.
Serve with whatever you like: I went for some new potatoes and sugar snap peas (which I think I mixed in with garden peas…but they’re so young the pods taste good too).