This was so nearly a failure. I’d glanced at the recipe (from Moro East, my new favourite recipe book), asked 18saughtonmains to pick up some pork without specifying the cut, so he bought steaks instead of fillet and then I realised the recipe had fennel bulbs in it, asked for red onions and also a type of vinegar I didn’t have. Put we needed to eat so I kept going, unconvinced until the very end when I added the almonds and suddenly all came together.
Moro Inspired Pork & Almonds in a Paprika Sauce
2 pork fillets
4 white onions cut lengthways into strips
2 garlic cloves
half teaspoon fennel seeds
1 dessertspoon (10ml) white wine vinegar
half teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
50ml white wine
100g almonds, toasted and smashed into small pieces
Some chopped parsley, if you remember.
Crush the garlic and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle with some salt and when they are smooth, add the vinegar, paprika and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Chop the pork steak into smallish pieces (this is a matter of personal taste as much as anything – I made chunks but strips would also work) and pour the paprika mix over it. Leave for a bit (or not at all if you are in a rush.)
Put a lot of oil in a wide pan – the recipe says 6 tablespoons, I suspect this is to ensure there is a decent layer on the bottom, so go by the size of your saucepan, not the absolute volume. Heat the oil over a medium-ish flame. Add the onions, bay leaves and some salt and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have start caramelising. Remove them, leaving the oil in the pan.
Fry the pork pieces in the oil for 3 or 4 minutes until they are cooked through. Add the onions back in and pour in the white wine. Turn up the heat to boil off the alcohol smell. Add the almonds and parsley, season if necessary and eat with rice. If you’re me, marvel at how well the tastes go together.
 I toasted them in a small pan, keeping them moving all the time until they start to colour. After they have cooled, I put them in a plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin until they were in smallish pieces. Another option would be a food processor if you have one.