The Maison Maille Culinary Blogger Challenge

Back in March I was contacted about a Culinary Challenge hosted by the people over at Maille. They were offering to send bloggers a couple of their products that would be used in original recipes as part of a competition. The winning entry, chosen by a panel of judges, would win a fantastic Food Lover London tour for two, valued at over £390 and the runners up will win a luxury hamper worth over £100. For me, any chance to win a trip to London in relation to food was enough to get my brain whirling with possible winning ideas. So I accepted and it took me a good six weeks to get up the nerve to attempt my recipe, but finally, I did and for me (and my sister, and Little Miss), it tasted great!
I want you to all know, I have no culinary training and I am not a food blogger, just a blogger who really likes food (both eating out and cooking). As you all know my recipes are never ever this photographed or well as well documented, but I have done it all in name of the challenge.
So here is my recipe, using Maison Maille’s Cider Vinegar with Honey* (it’s blooming delicious!)
Fillet of Pork wrapped in Parma Ham with a Creamy Honey Cider Vinegar Sauce
Served with Two Potato Mash & Green Beans
Ingredients for Two
2 Large Potatoes
1 Large Sweet Potato
1 tsp Black Pepper Corns
1 tsp Chili Flakes
1 tbsp Thyme 
1 tbsp Rosemary
1 tbsp Rock Salt
3 Cloves of  Purple Garlic
4 tbsp Olive Oil
4 Slices of Parma Ham
250g Pork Fillet
1 Packet of Green Beans
4 Shallots
2 tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Maison Maille Cider Vinegar with Honey
150ml Light Single Cream
Salt & Pepper, for seasoning to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 190c, 170c (fan assisted) or gas mark five.
Step One
Cut all three potatoes into half and place into a steamer. I have the old school big pot on a stove as you can see. Steam until they’re soft enough to scoop from their skins, for me this was a good 30 minutes. This is the best way to ensure the potatoes are soft enough for mashing later, especially if you don’t want any lumps (like if you have to feed my daughter). 

Step Two
In a pestle and mortar measure out one teaspoon of chili flakes, and one teaspoon of black pepper corns, followed by one tablespoon of each of the following, thyme, rosemary and rock salt. Mix together then grind up until all peppercorns are ground.
Step Three
Pour the mixture from the pestle and mortar into a bowl, into it crush the three cloves of purple garlic followed by four tables spoons of olive oil. Stir until it’s thoroughly combined.
Step Four
Line a roasting tin (or baking tray if you don’t have one big enough, like the idiot that is me) with tin foil and lay the four slices of parma ham, over lapping onto it. You can measure against your fillet to ensure it’s going to be enough to wrap around. 
Using a pastry brush cover the parma ham in your olive oil and seasoning mixture as above before finally laying your fillet on top and wrapping the ham around it. Then wrap in tin foil and put in the over for 30 minutes. 
Step Five
Prep the rest of your veg. Trim the ends off the green beans and add to the second layer of your steamer for the last 15 minutes of your cooking time. 
Step Six
Ten minutes before your fillet is due to come out, unwrap the tin foil. Pour off some juices into a frying pan to use to make the sauce before returning it to the oven to allow for the parma ham to crisp up.
Step Seven
Slice the shallots into strips and fry until soft and golden brown in the frying pan with the juices from the fillet. Do this by sauteing on a low heat.
Step Eight
After the 30 minutes cooking time is up, remove the pork fillet from the over and cut in half right down the middle. There should be no pink and the fillet should still be moist. Leave to rest while you finish preparing everything else. 
Step Nine
Scoop the potato out of their skins into a large bowl. Add a couple of table spoons of butter along with a good amount of salt and black pepper as seasoning. Then mash it all together until it’s smooth and lump free (unless of course you prefer the lumps!) 
Step Ten
Right before serving turn up the heat on the frying pan and add the four table spoons of cider vinegar with honey. It will spit so be careful but mind to remain continually stirring until all the vinegar has burnt off before adding the 150ml of cream. Again continue to stir until it starts to thicken and turns a golden colour.

Finally, cut the fillet into medallions and serve with a generous helping of the two potato mash, green beans and of course, the creamy cider vinegar with honey sauce. 
And that is my entry. I feel sick with nerves having never entered my cooking into any sort of competition or challenge before, but I did really enjoy trying to come up with something, it really was a challenge and did take me out of my comfort zone. Thank you so much for allowing me to take part Maison Maille, and good luck to everyone who has entered! 
(Also check out the AMAZING recipes on their website, I’m actually so hungry now!)
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