The Starch-free Dinner

This is what dinner always looks like when you're single. I can't figure out if it's awesome or pathetic.
This is what dinner always looks like when you're single. I can't figure out if it's awesome or pathetic.

So, if I were to think about it clearly and comprehensively, I’m pretty sure I prefer doing just about anything else rather than talk to someone about ‘their diet’ – and that includes: being eaten alive by ants, having butt-sex with Mr T and being forced to listen to the complete works of Mika. For some reason, people go a particular type of ‘hysterical earnest’ that borders on the truly psychotic when parading the particular types of dietary torture they happen to be forcing on themselves so that they can feel superior in front of their friends.

Just so that I’m clear, I have nothing against actual diets – just people who feel the need to talk about them. All the time. Even during the cricket. Also, this particular wave of exotic food-idiocy that seems to have started to masquerade itself as ‘fool-proof’ dieting has actually started to look like a list of plot-premises for episodes of some particularly insane Japanese reality TV show rather than sensible eating programs. I have no interest in hearing how the only way to lose weight is to exist on nothing but smoothies made with fresh-mown grass and blended bacon-fat, or how you can reduce your fat-intake by only eating under fluorescent lights positioned at right-angles to the rising sun, or only eating foods that start with the letter G. I’m not interested. Seriously.

Having said that, I, like everyone else, do occasionally think twice about how I’m eating (mostly, do I really need to finish the entire bag of Ghost Pops? The answer to that question, by the way, is always yes), and over the years, whenever I want to feel better about what I’m having for dinner, I just leave out the starch. It’s simple, and generally reduces that feeling of accidentally having just eaten a brick. So, if you’re interested in some starch-free dinners, well…I’ve only got one. So…um, here it is.

Pork Medallions in White Wine, with Green Beans and Mushrooms

Pork is one of those things that really appreciates any work that’s put into it. You know, chicken will mostly always just be chicken with other flavours riding on the surface, and beef is best when left alone to play in the corner. Pork however, likes to be wined, dined, shown a movie and then go for a moonlit drive before you take it back to your place for that night of doing things that would make your granny blush. So I’ve done quite a lot of warm-up with this pork, but it’s up to you how far you want to take it.

The measurements here are to serve 2.


1 Pork fillet
6 or 7 strips of streaky bacon
2 tbsp of Honey
1 dried chilli (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of thick Indonesian soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 healthy splash of red wine vinegar
1 smallish bunch of fresh sage (finely chopped)
4 large brown mushrooms
1 glass of white wine (be generous)
1 healthy handful of green beans

What to do:

Wrap the pork fillet around the sage, and then wrap the bacon around the pork fillet. At this point, please don’t freak out about the seemingly insanely indulgent combination of pork and bacon together – it’s not overkill, please believe me.  You can use some string or toothpicks to hold it all together if it all looks a bit sloppy.

In a bowl mix the honey, chilli, soy sauce tomato sauce and vinegar (season with salt and pepper to taste) and then empty it into a sealable Ziploc bag. Carefully put the pork in with the marinade, make sure it’s well covered, then seal it up and put it in the fridge. Now you can leave this in there for a couple of hours, but I like to leave it for at least a whole day. All 24 hours of it.

Once you’ve decided enough is enough, heat a ridged pan (hot, but not smoking) and add the fillet, emptying the marinade over it. Once you’ve given it about 4 or 5 minutes on each side and the marinade has started to bubble and thicken, add your first splash of white wine. Keep turning the pork and adding more white wine until the meat has cooked through (a cooking time of about 25 minutes or so).

Remove the meat and let it rest for about 5 minutes or so.

Into the liquid left in the pan (which should be a lovely thick wine/marinade combination), add the sliced mushrooms and let them cook in the juice for about 5 minutes or so with a dash of salt and pepper.

Cut the Pork into medallions (try and keep the bacon in place) and serve on green beans that have been boiled for ten minutes or so in salted water.

Make sure you have some white wine left over to drink, because you know…