Pork with leek & chestnuts | Svinjetina sa poriluk i kesten

I never thought that I’d love a combination of leek and chestnuts but here I am loving it! This is another Croatian recipe from Heneedsfood, it’s originally made with ham (šunka) but because I had some lovely pork medallions (and feel like I should add some pork to my diet) I made it with these instead. And it worked great, and I think I can say this is one of the best sauces I have ever tried. Honestly!

Next time I make this though, I will use frozen chestnuts. Using fresh, by the time you cut the crosses into them, boil, wait for them to cool, peel, get splinters stuck under your nails…Ha! It can all get a bit too much, so next time it’s frozen for me.

The combination of soft leek, chestnuts, red wine and balsamic is sublime and a real explosion of those rich autumn, winter flavours. Serve it with asparagus spears to cut through the richness and warm crusty bread.



  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • 500 grams of pork steaks or medallions
  • 150 grams of  leek cut into 2cm pieces
  • One clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 250 ml dry red wine
  • Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 500 ml of chicken stock
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • 200 grams of frozen (or fresh) chestnuts 
  • Asparagus spears, to serve


  1. If using fresh chestnuts, cut a cross into the side of each chestnut and boil in water for 10 minutes. Peel when cool enough to handle, leaving the flesh whole. If using frozen chestnuts, defrost before using. Set the chestnuts aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sear the slices of pork on both sides until lightly golden. Set the pork aside.
  3. Lightly colour the chunks of leek and garlic. Cook these for three minutes.
  4. Add the balsamic, red wine and rosemary and cook for two minutes. (Heneedsfood says you have to ignite the wine but mine didn’t ignite and it tasted fine)
  5. Return the pork to the pan and arrange it in a single layer. Pour over the stock to cover the pork completely and bring to the boil. Check for seasoning then reduce the heat as low as possible.
  6. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and allow to very gently simmer for 45-60 minutes. Turn the pork slices over and add the chestnuts, spooning the liquid over them. If there isn’t much liquid in the pan, add a little water. Once the chestnuts have gone in try not to mix things around too much as they will crumble.
  7. Cook for a further 20 minutes or so, just to the point of the liquid reducing by two thirds.
  8. Serve hot with steamed asparagus spears tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread.

Let me know if you tried this absolutely delicious chestnut and pork recipe and what you thought?

Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)

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