TheWumpus presents: Pork Stroganoff (with special edition directors commentary)
Prep time: 30-40 minutes, depending on size of mushrooms
Cook time: 2+ hours (depending on amount of simmering time)
Feeds: Beats me, but I can eat on a pot of this stuff for about a week.
What you'll definitely need:
~2-3 pounds of pork chops. Really any kind is fine, bone in is usually less expensive and you're going to be cutting them up later so if you don't mind deboning them you'll be fine.
1 sweet onion. Red or yellow, I prefer yellow.
1 bunch green onion. Yes, a bunch, they are sold like that.
~1/2 lb crimini mushrooms. Also called baby bellas. You'll be hand slicing these so I prefer to pick out larger ones. Don't know what a crimini or a baby bella is? It's an immature portabella. If the spore sacks on the underside have started to open it's past its prime. Still tasty but not AS tasty.
White wine. I use carlo rossi chardonnay cause it's cheap and hasn't been aged. Don't want to use oak aged wine for cooking.
1 cup sour cream. If you can find some that's nearing its expiration date go for it, you're going to use it all right away.
2 cans beef broth
1 1/2 sticks butter. Unsalted. Sweet cream is the best.
Some all purpose flour. I don't have an exact measurement cause I make my roux on the fly.
Corn starch. Cause sometimes you just can't get the consistency right.
Kosher salt. Well any salt really I just prefer kosher for cooking meat.
Black pepper. Fresh ground is best, but do what you gotta do.
1 bag extra large egg noodles
What you may want:
Onion powder. Yes. There's already a LOT of onion in this. But a light dusting of onion powder helps really sear the flavor into the pork.
Garlic salt. Prefer this to garlic powder because it's super easy to overdo garlic powder.
Minced garlic. Up to you. I like garlic.
Smoked paprika. A very light dusting (just a few taps with the heel of the hand on the side of the bottle) adds an excellent smoky undertone.
Beau Monde seasoning. I find this gives a wonderfully robust flavor to white meats.
Herbs de Provence. This is a lighter counterpoint to the beau monde. Make sure to crush them well before sprinkling.
Port or sherry. For deglazing the pan. Since this is a lighter sauce I prefer sherry, although marsala is also a good choice.
How to do it:
- Do the prepwork. Slice the mushrooms thin, in line with the stalk. Put them in a bowl off to the side. Dice the onion, not super fine, about the size of your thumbnail and set aside in a bowl. Cut the green parts off the green onion and chop, ~1/8ish inch and set aside in a bowl. Take the white part of the green onions, cut the roots off, and chop them, and you guessed it, put in a bowl (with the regular onion is fine).
- Season the pork. I find a layer of salt where most of the meat is "crusted" to be the correct salinity, which is why I prefer kosher because it's easier to tell. Give it a nice sprinkle or few twists of black pepper.
2a.If desired add a light dusting (I find a rapid wrist shake forward and back over the meat to be good) or onion powder, garlic powder, and beau monde seasoning. Take a pinch of herbs de provence, crush it fine in your palm (it's not super dense) and sprinkle over the meat. Add that little bit of paprika if you like.
- In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat.
- Put the pork in the skillet once the butter is melted. Be careful, butter has a relatively low smoke point and burnt butter does not taste very good. Cook for ~15-20 minutes, depending on thickness, until it's at 160 degrees internal. Flip it every few minutes to keep it from burning.
- Take the cooked pork out of the skillet and set aside.
- Melt another 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and add the mushrooms and sweet onions/white parts of the green onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring and flipping regularly, until onions are clarified and mushrooms have softened.
6a. Now is an excellent time to cut up that pork. Observe proper food handling safety procedure and don't put it back on a cutting board that had raw meat on it.
- Pull the mushrooms and onions out of the pan and set aside
- Melt the remaining butter in the pan over low heat, whisking in the all purpose flour (I add a tablespoon at a time). You're looking for a nice thick, almost fry dough consistency. That'll thicken what'll become the sauce. Dump any leftover pork juices you have from the bowl/plate with the pork on it in during this part.
- If you have chosen to deglaze the pan do so now. Add sherry/port/whatever cooking liquor to coat the bottom of the pan and start to boil. Add ~1/2 cup of white wine.
- Put the pork, mushrooms, and onions back in the pan.
- Add the beef broth.
- Mix everything together so the roux is evenly distributed. I like a slotted spatula for this, it also allows me to make sure everything gets soaked in juicy goodness.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer. Grab a beer. Have a smoke. Watch an episode of the simpsons. It's on it's own for now. The longer the better, just check on it every once in a while and give it a stir. Taste it as it cooks. Need anything? Add it.
- Once the mix has simmered long enough (I LIKE a minimum of 2 hours, but really anything over 5 minutes is acceptable) bring enough water to a boil to make the noodles. In a separate pot of course.
- Boil noodles. There are instructions on the bag. This is the least complicated part of the process. I shouldn't even have to put a step for this in here.
- While noodles are boiling check consistency of sauce. Don't forget the sour cream is going to firm it up a little bit, but if it's still super watery take a small glass, put a heaping tablespoon of corn starch in it and add water while mixing vigorously with a fork. You just need enough water to dissolve the corn starch, it'll thicken up in heat. Whisk a little bit at a time into the sauce until it clings to a spoon and drips slowly off. You can add as much corn starch as needed but remember to only mix in a little bit at a time as it can over thicken easily.
- When there are 5 minutes left on the noodles mix the sour cream into the sauce. Also add the green bits of the green onions (dried they would be chives. But don't use chives. Use fresh green onions).
- Drain noodles, put back in the pot. Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix together.
- Put it in your face.
And that's it. It may seem pretty complicated but it's really not. I make this dish with a total of one pan and one pot, one knife, one cutting board, and four bowls. The only time it's super time critical is making the roux because it can burn fairly easily. And the seasoning choices I make are for my taste. Go nuts with it. Add whatever flavors you want. And please don't use canned mushrooms. Just don't.