As its name suggests, pork tenderloin (also pork fillet) is the most tender part of the pig, a characteristic that makes it a prime candidate for pan frying. As this recipe for Za’atar Pork Wraps will attest, tenderloin is at its best flavoured with a dry rub or marinade and cooked over a relatively high heat for only a few minutes. In this case, the dried herbs in the za’atar give the pork a fragrant quality, complemented by the citrus notes of the ground sumac. Eaten for lunch or dinner, these wraps make a filling, healthy and absolutely delicious meal.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to cooking pork. The first, and most prevalent, holds that pork should always been cooked thoroughly and until not even the slightest hint of pink remains. I’m not going to go into too much depth about where this approach originates, but it almost certainly has something to do with pork historically being seen as a relatively “dirty” meat, susceptible to disease. The other, however, thinks it fine to leave a slight hint of pink, as long as its centre has been kept at a temperature of 62C (145F) for 15-20 seconds.
As far as I’m concerned, if your pork is well sourced and from a clean, trustworthy butcher then there is no problem with the second school of thought. It certainly makes for the most exquisite, tender meat. However, if you would rather prepare your pork according to the first stance, make sure to be very precise with your timings; it is a meat that can dry out very quickly. Either way, I’m certain you’ll love these spicy and simple homemade wraps.
Za’atar Pork Wraps
• 300g pork tenderloin
• 2 tbsp za’atar
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 4 homemade wraps
• 4 tbsp hummus
• 4 tbsp yoghurt or labneh
• A handful of rocket
1. Mix together the olive oil and za’atar and rub into the tenderloin. Place in a large bowl and leave to marinate overnight, or for at least 4-5 hours.
2. Allow your infused tenderloin to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare your wraps, hummus and labneh (if using).
3. Once all is ready tip any excess olive oil from the bowl into a heavy based frying pan and sauté the tenderloin over a medium heat until cooked through but tender (see above for guidance on this). Set aside to rest.
4. Into each wrap spread 1 tbsp of hummus and yoghurt or labneh. Slice the pork into relatively large chunks, popping 3-4 pieces in each wrap. Garnish with a little rocket and serve immediately.
Cost: This recipe brings together a number of relatively inexpensive components into a hearty meal for four, preserving the low cost of its constituent parts. Indeed, though the pork alone will set you back £3-4 pounds, the resultant wraps should cost no more than around £5.