Fist off, happy birthday to my awesome sister, Jeanne!
Ok for the question I know you're all thinking. What jackass decides that the perfect time to make a stew is smack dab in the middle of the obnoxiously humid weather we've been hit with on the East Coast? What is it about having the stove on for several hours that screamed "good idea"? Seriously, this is what my cat has looked like for the last week. If he didn't strategically reposition his overly fluffy tail every few hours, I'd be wondering if he were still alive.
Well, I'm happy to report that 1.) my cat is not dead and 2.) despite some awful judgement on my part about the best time to make this dish (like when it's NOT 95 degrees outside), it was totally worth it. This stew was one of the most delicious new recipes I've tried in awhile. I can't imagine how amazing it must taste in winter when it's cold and nasty out and all you want is something warm and hearty to eat.
This Normande stew is really quite simple. It's traditionally made with veal, but as I've made clear in the past, I don't do veal. So instead, I used pork tenderloin, which was unbelievably perfect in this dish. Now, in honor of my sister and other non-mammal eaters, I'd like to add that turkey is a great substitute as well. When I was making this, I was tasting it along the way (and when I say tasting I mean I ate a full serving), and was tempted to stop after the stew had finished simmering and not add the cream as the recipe demands. The stew was that good already. So, I added cream to a small amount of the stew in a seperate bowl and gave it a try. Brilliance! I don't know where the hell I get off thinking I know better than the creators of these decades old French recipes, but I will fully admit that I was wrong on this one. No matter how good you think the stew is when it has finished simmering, make sure you add the cream! It adds layers of depth to the stew and really pulls it all together. And don't ask me to tell you about the gloriousness that is the crispy prosciutto added on top. It might make me cry since I've run out of prosciutto.
Ryan and I ate this stew with some rice and it made for a wonderful meal. It would be even better alongside some potatoes!
Adapted from Serious Eats: French in a Flash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, diced
1 five to eight ounce package shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 loose oyster mushrooms (or a full package if you want more mushrooms), sliced
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary (more if using fresh)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
3-4 slices prosciutto
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the pork and cook just until brown on all sides. The pork will finish cooking later. (Note: you want a nice sear on the meat, so don't add too much at once. If you have too much pork for your pot, sear it in batches. Doing it all at once and having your pot too full will make the meat steam, not sear. So cook the pork in only one thin layer at a time.)
- Remove the meat from the pot and set aside in a bowl. Add the garlic and shallots to the pot. Cook for about 4 minutes until the shallots begin to soften, but don't brown.
- When the shallots are softened, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Cook about 6 minutes until the mushrooms are softened and begin to get a little brown on the edges.
- Return the pork to the pan. Add the beef broth, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Bring the stew up to boiling, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for an hour and a half.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay the prosciutto on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until it is crisp. Set aside until the stew is finished.
- When the stew has been simmering for an hour and a half, combine the butter and flour in a bowl until well mixed. Add to the stew and stir until it is well incorporated. This will quickly thicken the stew.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the cream.
- Ladle into bowls and crumble pieces of the proscuitto that was set aside onto the top of the stew. Serve with rice or potatoes, or on its own!
Ryan's rating of Stew Forestiere - 5. You may want to make a lot of this. Ry was NOT happy that we didn't have a week's worth of leftovers after this one!
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.