Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #21: Pork Fillet & Catherine Wheel Sausage

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #21: Pork Fillet & Catherine Wheel Sausage
This is our 21st cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. For this one we chose “Seared Pork Fillet & Catherine Wheel Sausage, Meaty Mushroom Sauce, Celeriac Smash, and Garlicky Beans.” We chose this one mainly because it seemed fairly low-carb. (I’m back on the diet.) Unfortunately this episode hasn’t aired yet, so all we had to refer to was the recipe in the book (and a couple YouTube videos). I was on chef duty, and it actually ended up being a fairly complicated meal with lots of components. My clock time was 36:37, but the sausage spent a few minutes longer than that in the oven. Oh, and I got to cut up KIDNEYS for the first time in my life. It was like high school biology class all over again!

Pork Fillet & Catherine Wheel Sausage

Substitutions: Pork kidney seems to be unheard of here, so we went with lamb kidney instead. We used just plain button mushrooms instead of “white or chestnut” mushrooms. I used some cheap cooking sherry in place of the Marsala. I didn’t have long wooden skewers for the sausage so I used several toothpicks instead. Other than that, everything was as written in the recipe!

Quick verdict: This was one of the best recipes in the book in terms of the harmony of all the flavours. All the various components complemented each other so well! It was also perfect for a winter night. I was dubious about the mushroom and kidney sauce, but it was the highlight of the whole meal. Seriously, SO GOOD. (Well worth the effort and grossness of prepping the kidneys.) I ran into some problems with time management and there are things I’d do differently next time. Still, we both rated it a 9 out of 10 for tastiness! Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The kettle was boiled and the oven turned to 220C. We had an oven-safe frying pan for the sausage, another frying pan for the sauce, a saucepan for the beans, and a roasting tray for the fillet.

First up are the ingredients for the pork components: pork fillet, pork chipolatas, fresh rosemary, red apples, and sugar.

Pork ingredients

Next for the “smash” we have: celeriac, fresh thyme, and lemon.

Smash ingredients

Here are the ingredients for the sauce: smoked streaky bacon, fresh rosemary, (lamb) kidneys, mushrooms, sherry, cream, and English mustard.

Sauce ingredients

And lastly, all that was needed for the beans: green beans, garlic, and lemon.

Green bean ingredients

Pots and pans, ready to go! (The Pyrex bowl is for cooking the celeriac in the microwave.)

Pots and pans

Here we go! I started by butterflying the pork fillet, presumably to make it thinner so it’d cook faster.

Butterflying the fillet

Next I drizzled it with olive oil, salt, and pepper before dropping it into the hot frying pan to sear.

Seasoning the fillet

Once the fillet was browning, I got to work on the celeriac. I had to peel the whole thing and then cut it into big chunks. (I have a feeling this is where I lost a few minutes of time. These suckers are awkward to deal with!)

Peeling the celeriac

I placed the celeriac chunks in the Pyrex bowl with salt, pepper, lemon juice, a bit of boiled water, and the squeezed lemon half. This was covered with a double layer of cling film and put in the microwave for 12 minutes.


Next I began the sauce by slicing up the bacon. (I should note that I was also flipping the pork fillet every minute while doing this other stuff.)

Slicing bacon

The bacon went into a hot frying pan to cook. (You can see the browned pork fillet in the background.)

Cooking bacon

Next I sliced up the mushrooms. (I should’ve used the food processor for this, even though the recipe didn’t require it. It would’ve saved some time.)

Slicing mushrooms

These were added to the bacon along with some olive oil and rosemary.

Adding the mushrooms

And now it was time for the three lamb kidneys. I almost made the Snook do them instead, but I persevered. They weren’t that bad, but there was a chunk of white sinew in the center of each one. (I probably lost a few minutes while trying to work around that.)

Slicing kidney

The kidney was added to the bacon and mushrooms, along with a good grind of black pepper.

Adding the kidney

Finally for the fun part! I started assembling the “Catherine wheel” sausage. My chipolatas had a lot more links than Jamie’s did, so it took me a while to get them all untwisted and joined up.

Untwisting the sausage

As I coiled the sausage, I inserted toothpicks to hold the whole thing together.

Assembling the Catherine wheel

Dr. Amy took great interest in the sausage assembly.

Finishing the Catherine wheel

At this point the pork fillet went into the oven on the roasting tray, and the Catherine wheel went into the vacated fry pan to cook.

Frying the sausage

I’m sorry to say that my toothpicks didn’t work that well. The whole wheel started to puff up in the middle, and the toothpicks weren’t enough to prevent it. In the future, I’ll use the skewers. I picked some rosemary leaves over the sausage as it cooked.

Cooking the sausage

Back to the sauce! I added the cooking sherry and let it cook off. (I didn’t set it on fire because I’m a wimp.) I also added cream and English mustard.

Finishing the sauce

Next I trimmed my green beans…

Trimming the green beans

…before dropping them into the saucepan of boiling water.

Cooking the beans

At some point in all that, I also put a halved apple in with the sausage. Now I sprinkled the cut halves with sugar…

Sprinkling sugar

…before popping the whole pan into the oven.

Sausage into the oven

Finally time to mash the celeriac! I drained it and chucked the lemon half. It was woody as all hell, so I actually put it back in the microwave for a few more minutes.

Mashing the celeriac

The beans were cooked, so I drained them.

Draining the beans

To finish the beans, I added lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Finishing the beans

I went back to the celeriac for some more mashing, and I pretty quickly gave up on the idea of it ever being smooth. I finished it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Finished celeriac

A splash more water, and my meaty mushroom sauce was complete!

Finished sauce

Here are the finished beans as well.

Finished beans

Lastly, I sliced up the (rested) pork fillet.

Slicing the pork fillet

And here’s the finished pork fillet. Probably a little overcooked, but still good!

Sliced pork

As the very final step, I pulled the finished sausage and apple out of the oven.

Finished sausage

Here is the completed meal of “Seared Pork Fillet & Catherine Wheel Sausage, Meaty Mushroom Sauce, Celeriac Smash, and Garlicky Beans.”

Finished meal

Tasting notes: We were blown away by how good the sauce was. I know most of you are probably thinking “kidney = BARF,” but you just have no idea. Very savoury and moreish! I was annoyed that the celeriac didn’t go more “mashy,” even after I gave it the extra cooking time. It was still perfectly tasty and edible though, even if it was rather chunky on the plate. The garlicky beans were yummy. Both the pork fillet and sausage were excellent – but why do two? I think if I cooked it again, I’d just do one or the other. The Snook agreed that as written, getting the whole thing cooked in 30 minutes would be very difficult. Still, this is an excellent winter meal that fills you up and makes you happy. Highly recommended, and rated as 9/10 by both of us!

Stay tuned for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!


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  1. I can’t stand peeling massive things (like the celeriac) – I always chunk them up a bit first, then peel the chunks. I find it so much easier that way :o)

    That sauce looks like it would rock without the kidneys too… must try it!

  2. Yeah, I gave up and started attacking the celeriac with a knife eventually! You need an industrial-strength peeler to deal with something like that.

  3. On Masterchef just now they were grating the celeriac to make a puree.

  4. I saw that, Erin! I was like, “No WAY you’re gonna make celeriac puree in under 10 minutes… Oh. That’s how you do it.” 🙂

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