This recipe is a Modern Australian interpretation of a traditional Mexican dish called “chiles en nogada”. This dish represents the three colours of the Mexican flag with the pomegranate, green chillies and white walnut sauce, and is eaten during the national independence festivities of Mexico. Together the chefs at Mamasita have altered the dish to give it a modern twist using pork.
- 4 x 180 g free-range organic pork fillets
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 80 g palm sugar
- 20 ml tequila
- 100 ml water
- 25 g raisins
Pork rub (makes 30 g)
- 2 dried mulato chillies, stems removed, deseeded
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- salt and pepper
- 200 g roasted walnuts
- 100 g queso fresco (alternatively, use fresh bocconcini)
- 200 g sour cream
- salt and pepper
- nutmeg, to taste
White onion and coriander salad
- 1 poblano pepper, roasted
- 2 white onions, thinly sliced
- 1 pinch pork rub
- salt, to taste
- 1 bunch coriander, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Steeping time overnight
Standing time 30 minutes
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead
Drink match Philip Shaw Pink Billy Saignée 2012, Orange, NSW
“What a Mexican pork feast! The spice blend here adds masses of character without heat, so you can be quite creative with the wine. Pork also lends itself to both white and red, depending on the accompaniments. How about something in the middle? Rosé is completely underestimated when it comes to food matching – I love it. This Philip Shaw rosé (a merlot, shiraz and cabernet franc blend) is dry, savoury, fresh and textured, and is the perfect platform to help the spicy pork to show off its wares. The texture is a key point here as it helps it to pair brilliantly with even rich meat dishes.” - Dan Coward
To make the tequila raisins, mix the sugar and liquids together in a small saucepan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the raisins and simmer until completely rehydrated, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the liquid and steep for 24 hours.
To make the pork rub, toast the chillies in a dry frypan until fragrant. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry fry pan until fragrant. Blend together with a spice grinder. Mix with the remaining spices and salt and pepper.
To make the nogada sauce, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the salad, slice the poblano chilli into thin strips. Season the onion and poblano chilli with a pinch of the pork rub and salt. Mix in the coriander.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a butchers knife remove all the sinew from the pork fillet. Remove the pork fillet from the fridge 30 minutes before using to bring up to room temperature.
Season the pork with salt and apply a liberal amount of the pork rub. Preheat a chargrill over a high heat, cook the pork fillet until a deep colour is achieved. Then transfer to roast in the oven until medium (approximately 5–10 minutes depending on your oven heat). Cover and rest for 3 minutes.
Cut the pomegranate in half, horizontally. Place the cut side in your hand and gently tap the other side with a wooden spoon until all the seeds fall out. Reserve for later.
Slice across the grain of the pork fillet. Place a small amount of nogada sauce at the bottom of plate, followed by the sliced pork. Sprinkle with the raisins and a drizzle of the tequila syrup. Garnish with the white onion and coriander salad, a sprinkle of the pork rub and the pomegranate seeds.