This dish evolved out of my need to do something different with pork tenderloin. This is what was sitting in the fridge last evening so I was determined to use it. As this blog has evolved I realized it would be challenging sometimes to come up with something new each night, but, that is the point of this exercise. There are so many things you can do with 1 ingredient and it has been very interesting pushing myself to make the most of what I have learned about food and cooking over the years.
Pork tenderloin has so many possibilities. I thought about stuffing it, rolling something into it, stir-frying, but nothing appealed to me. I then starting a little leisurely leafing through some of my favorite cookbooks and came across a picture of Veal Scaloppini. Ever since my vegetarian days I can’t bring myself to buy, cook or eat veal. Thinking about the way in which veal calves are raised would hamper my enjoyment of the delicate meat. It did however give me the idea to make the pork into scaloppini. That led me to thinking about Italy and I rushed out and bought a bottle of lovely dry Marsala wine to make an intensely flavorful sauce.
This dinner was decadent, which was apropos, as I had two guests joining us that I needed to bestow some decadence upon! One guest was our friend Tom and he was bringing his daughter Bridget who was visiting from China and we were meeting for the first time. I wanted the meal to be the complete opposite of what she might have eaten for dinner in a Chinese household. All I could think of was butter, so I made sure to use a lot of it!
We enjoyed the meal with a lovely local Syrah that Tom brought. The plates returned to the kitchen without a trace of food, letting me know that my quest to please palates was a success.
You will need: 3 pork tenderloin (about 2 1/2 lbs in all), sliced into 1/2″ pieces. 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced, 7 tbs unsalted butter approx, 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine, 1 tbs white flour, 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup chicken broth, 7 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal, 1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas, 3 lbs yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered, 2 egg yolks, coarse sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper.
Put a shallow casserole dish or platter in oven and set at warm (about 150*)
1 – Prep tenderloin: Cut tenderloin into 1/2″ pieces. Put a piece of meat between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and pound evenly with a rolling-pin or mallet and flatten pork into a scaloppini. It will end up thin and about 4 times bigger. Stack on a plate and set aside. (It takes a big of time but it’s kind of a fun job!)
2 – Next prep your potatoes and carrots: Peel and rinse well in several changes of water (gets rid of some starch) potatoes. Quarter them and put in saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover and cook on medium/high heat until nice and soft (test by sticking with sharp knife – should go through flesh very easily). Drain, and add 2 tbs butter and mash until very smooth. Add 1 tsp coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, 1/3 – 1/2 cup heavy cream and 2 eggs yolks, Mix well with a wooden spoon. Taste to see if you need more salt, pepper, butter or cream. Cover with tea towel and set back on stove top to keep warm.
Peel and cut carrots and place in a medium pot and cover with water. Boil carrots until soft, but still firm (nothing worse than a soggy carrot!). Drain and set aside in bowl. Cook frozen peas in a small amount of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and toss carrots into pot with peas. Add a tbs of butter, some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Set on stove top with a covering with a cloth to keep warm.
3 – Fry Pork: While vegetables are cooking get a start on the pork. Put a big saute pan on high heat. Starting with 1 tbs of butter and 1 tbs olive oil fry pork in batches. As they are frying sprinkle with coarse sea salt. They will take 3 to 4 minutes to cook in total. Remove as you cook to the casserole or platter in the oven. Continue frying (adding butter and oil as you need it) until all the meat is cooked. Cover when done with lid or foil.
4 – Turn heat down and in same pan add 1 tbs butter. When it has melted add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add flour to mushrooms and stir until incorporated.
5 – Add Marsala and stir. It will quickly become a thick paste. Add the broth and stir well before adding the 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cream. Let it cook until it has thickened sufficiently. If it is too thick adjust by adding a little more broth and/or cream until you are satisfied with the consistency.
6 – Add pork to sauce and stir in gently. turn off heat and cover until ready to serve.
On warmed plates give everyone a nice portion of everything. Pass some freshly ground pepper if you like!
Note: If you are just interested in making the pork scaloppini, by all means just follow the steps just for that and serve with whatever you like.