Nigel’s mid­week din­ner

Spicy pork with nduja and spinach

The Observer Magazine - - Food & Drink - Pho­to­graph JONATHAN LOVEKIN

The recipe

You will need 4 pork steaks, each ap­prox­i­mately 125g in weight. Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Put the steaks on a work sur­face and place a heaped ta­ble­spoon of nduja (about 50g) on each, spread­ing it thickly over the meat. Roll the steak up into a plump sausage and se­cure with a wooden skewer or a cou­ple of cock­tail sticks.

Re­peat with the re­main­ing steaks and nduja. Put the pork on a bak­ing sheet and bake for 20 min­utes, bast­ing oc­ca­sion­ally with the bright red, spicy oil that comes from the nduja.

Re­move the stalks from 400g of spinach leaves. Wash the leaves thor­oughly, then, while they are still wet, put them in a saucepan over a mod­er­ate to high heat, cover tightly with a lid and leave to cook in their own steam for 2-3 min­utes un­til dark green and wilted.

Drain the spinach and squeeze out the wa­ter with your hands. Put the spinach in a saucepan, add 200ml of dou­ble cream, a grat­ing of nut­meg and a sea­son­ing of salt and black pep­per. Bring to a bub­ble, then process briefly in a blender or food pro­ces­sor.

Spoon the spinach sauce be­tween 2 plates, then serve the pork steaks on the spinach. Enough for 2.

The trick

You may need to bat the steaks out a lit­tle if they are too thick to stuff and roll. I don’t own a cut­let bat, so make do by wrap­ping the steaks in cling­film and beat­ing them firmly with a rolling pin. It is es­sen­tial to baste the meat with the fat that leaks from the nduja.

The twist

The nduja is spicy (and the heat can vary from brand to brand) so the creamy spinach is there to bal­ance the heat. You could make a tomato sauce if you pre­fer, crush­ing cherry to­ma­toes and a few rose­mary nee­dles with olive oil and cook­ing for 10 min­utes be­fore adding the cream. No nduja? Skinned chorizo mashed to a paste will work a treat. ■

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