Mothers’ Day Hoggonoff with a Watercress Salad

This is one of my mother’s recipes – a melding of sweet sherry (I use port in my version), cream, mushrooms and pork fillet. Quick and easy – useful for anyone who wants to give their mother a holiday from the kitchen. Minus the rice of course the creamy pork freezes…. when unfreezing add a bit more port to moisten.

Garnish, if you like, with fried sage leaves.

We are very nearly into April which means that the first batches of watercress may be appearing. The peppery taste of the watercress is much more rich, deep and interesting than rocket (a ubiquitous fashionable fad, inferior in every way), and as the harbinger of a wider variety of green things to come it’s a welcome bright taste after a winter of roots. A salad of watercress goes well with this. But, of course, if you can’t find watercress, rocket will do – add a few extra grinds of pepper.

If you don’t have tomato paste to hand, then add three or four sundried tomatoes.

Listen to Si Tu Vois Ma Mère at the bottom of this post as you read through this recipe.

Recipe for pork fillet in sour cream and port

for two just about – three times this quantity will do for five or six.


  • 2 cups (480 ml) – the important point here is that it is twice the amount of the rice – water
  • 2 knobs of butter (approx 10g)
  • 1 cup (7 oz, 200g) of cooked basmati rice
  • 1 chicken stock cubes
  • ½lb/225g pork fillet, cut up into small thin ‘chips’ max 1” long
  • 1 knob/10g/1 tbsp butter
  • ¼lb/110g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • ¼pt/5 fl oz/150 ml carton sour cream – or a little more if you have a big pot of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp port (my mother used sweet sherry)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • smoked salt and Indonesian long pepper

watercress salad:

  • 100g/4oz bag watercress and spinach (take off any thick stems)
  • 10 grinds of pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Boil the water.
  2. Put a knob of butter in a casserole dish and melt.
  3. Add rice, stir to cover with the melted butter.
  4. Measure out one cup of boiling water, dissolve the stock cubes in it.
  5. Add the stock, the rest of the water, and stir in the turmeric, salt and pepper.
  6. Put the lid on the pan and either put in the bottom right aga oven for 15 minutes, or turn down the heat of the hob and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, resisting the temptation to fiddle with it!


  1. Fry onion in a knob of butter until translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms.
  3. Add meat and fry at a higher heat.
  4. Leave to cool a bit, make the salad dressing, then…
  5. add the port and tomato puree; also the sour cream.
  6. Season, taste and serve!
pork fillet recipe

Music to cook to

Listen to Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band singing Si Tu Vois Ma Mère

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made this for a dinner party this evening and somehow even though I was frantically trying to cook and be host at the same time, it still turned out well!

saucy dressings

Delighted it worked well for you, that recipe is a real stalwart, SD

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