Pork Steak with Mushroom Cream Sauce

This recipe calls for Portobello mushrooms, but cremini, or button mushrooms will work just as well. If you have chanterelle, morel, or porcini mushrooms, by all means use those. Cooking times may vary depending on the mushrooms you use.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 pound pork steaks such as sirloin or leg, 1/2 inch thin or less (slice the pork to this dimension, or gently pound it thinner between sheets of plastic wrap)
1/2 cup sherry or Marsala (use a slightly sweet type) or white wine, plus 2 tablespoons for splashing on the mushrooms during cooking
1 lb. Portobello or button mushrooms
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
1/2 to 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Grapeseed or other neutral flavored oil as needed

METHOD:

In a zipper bag, marinate the pork in ¼ cup of the sherry (or whichever wine you are using) with a pinch of thyme and a little salt and pepper. Ideally, do this the night before or in the morning before leaving for work for optimum effect, but allow at least 1 hour of time for marinating. Store in refrigerator until 20 minutes before cooking.

If using Portobello mushrooms, halve the caps and slice across (from rim to center) into 1/8 inch thick slices. If using buttons, just slice 1/8 inch thick.

Remove the pork from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Dry on paper towels and return meat to room temperature.

Heat a large sauté pan (10-12 inches) over medium-high heat. When hot, liberally film the pan with oil and heat up. When hot, add the mushrooms, tossing to coat with oil. If mushrooms seem dry, drizzle or spray with oil to lightly coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms start to wilt. Splash with a couple tablespoons of the chosen wine and toss. The mushrooms will give off some liquid (more or less depending on the mushroom), cook until the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the pan and reserve. Return the pan to the heat and turn down to medium.

Film the pan with oil and when hot, add the onions, tossing to coat with oil. Cook until the onions are tender. Add the garlic to the onions and cook until the garlic is tender. Remove onion garlic mixture to the bowl with the mushrooms, being sure not to leave any small bits behind that will burn and create an acrid flavor.

Season Pork with salt and pepper and a little of the thyme.

Film the pan with some oil. When quite hot, add the pork steak and sear, cooking 3-4 minutes. Flip the pork and repeat. The pork should just be firm to the touch and still be a bit pink inside. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Crank the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of wine, scraping to get any fond from the pan bottom. Reduce by 80%. Add the stock to the pan and cook down by 80%. While the stock reduces, see if the vegetables have given off any liquid. If so, pour this into the pan. If some mushrooms/onions/garlic fall into the sauce, don’t worry about it. Check the meat and do the same with any accumulated juices.

When the liquid in the pan has reduced by 80%, add the vegetables in and stir around. Scatter with the thyme and season with some salt and pepper, then add ½ cup of cream. If it seems like there is not enough liquid to form a sauce with all the mushrooms in the pan, add the rest of the cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a vigorous simmer, stirring all the while, being careful not to boil the sauce so hard that it separates, and cook down until the sauce thickens and will leave a trail on a spoon back when you drag a finger through it.

Pour over the pork and serve hot.

Chef’s Notes:

This sauce works well with most cuts of pork. You could do this with a pork roast. After the roast is done and is resting before slicing, use the roasting pan on the stove top (NOT if you used anything but metal, of course!) as your sauté pan, cooking directly in the pork juices and fat. This is a dish that happens pretty fast, so be sure to have your ingredients out and close to hand. Once you have done this sauce a couple times you will find it easy to do and easy to vary.

YIELD: Serves 4

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