Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pork and Mushroom Stew with Potato & Apple Mash

I almost feel as though I should be sharing summer recipes with you, instead of this comforting (and delectable) pork stew.  Here we are, in the first week of January, with temperatures reaching the 70's and clear blue skies. You'd think I'd rejoice in that, but I really wish it was a cold and rainy day.   I'm at the tail end of a much needed two week vacation.   I'm also concerned that we might be headed into a drought-- and that's not a good thing.  I think of the Salinas Valley growers, and how our crops could be affected.  Let's hope that  La Niña will bring a lot of states some much needed rain.

Today is my husband's first day back at work, and settling in to a peaceful time at home-- all by myself.   If it was raining, I'd be more inclined to bake bread and soup, and to have a cozy fire where I could curl up and enjoy a quiet lunch at home.  Instead, I'm feeling guilty for now being outside, enjoying the warm weather!

The nights do get chilly, so this quick stew would be a welcome meal for dinner.  Usually, I prefer to braise and cook my stews low and slow. But, this stew uses pork tenderloin, which is one of my favorite meats to cook with.  It's so tender, that I don't need to braise for a long time, so this recipe is perfect to make after a long day at the office.

Sear each piece of seasoned pork tenderloin chunks (dried well with a paper towel). Set aside.

Sweat mushrooms, leeks, and carrot in same pan over medium heat until softened, 3–4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze the pan with sherry, scraping up any bits on bottom of pan, and reduce until evaporated. Stir in cider and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pork with residual juices and 1 Tbsp. thyme. Simmer stew until thickened, 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

I wanted to make mashed potatoes, but I thought it would be nice to add some of the apple garnish into the potatoes.  After cooking some Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 small), I ran them through a food mill..

...then added some unsalted butter, cream cheese, milk, and a splash of heavy cream.

I had roasted a head of garlic, so I added about half of it into the potatoes...

and then the apple, for a little "crunch".  To the sauce, I also added a splash of heavy cream.

Dinner is served-- in about 40 minutes.

VERDICT:  I love a good stew, and this is a nice change from a more traditional beef stew.  The sauce could have been a little thicker, but I'll simply add a bit more flour next time.  The apple cider and sherry adds a lovely depth of flavor, and the crunch of the apple is really good with the pork.  Yes, I'd make this again.  All I need is that much needed rain and a roaring fire.

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Bonnie said...

Oh my gosh. This looks wonderful. I love apples with pork. Your home is one of my very favorite places to visit. Your weather sounds wonderful, but I live here in the west and we depend on your wonderful produce year round. Let's all hope for some moister (because I do like to eat):)

Joanne said...

I'll hope for rain for you guys! It is FRIGID here so any rain would inevitably turn to snow, but it has been super dry recently. This stew would be much appreciated!

Aarthi said...

They look delicious..a must to try..Bookmarked


Christine said...

Debby, you should be really glad you're not down here...L.A. has had days in the high 80's. Not complaining but I too, wish for rain!
Wasn't initially excited by this title, but after reading about how easy it is, seeing the photos and recipe, it's going on my list of "to make" before "winter" ends. Perfect for chilly nights to come.

TKW said...

Yet another dish that my Daddy-o is going to love! You're magic, Debby!

Lucie said...

My mouth is watering - this looks delish! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Love Lucie xx

Lynn said...

This looks like a great recipe. I like pork and apples together and this is quick enough to make on a week day after work. I live in Canada and our winter has been warmer than normal too. I'm enjoying the warm, sunny days but hope we get lots of spring rain for moisture for our farmers.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

You are cooking up a storm on the last days of your vacation! Our weather has turned cold and rainy so comfort food like this is just what we want. I was just lamenting that I don't have many good pork recipes so am looking forward to trying this. Have a good weekend.

beti said...

there's nothing better than combining fresh fruit with a nice piece of meat, the pork looks fantastic!

mjskit said...

What a great pot of genuine comfort food! Love the addition of the apple for the crunch and then to serve it over garlic - I mean GARLIC mashed potatoes! WOW! It warms me up just thinking about it.