27 October 2011

Braised Pork Steaks - also known as "Posh Porks"

As predicted, although I remembered to take the pork out of the freezer, it wasn't in time for Tuesday evening's dinner.  However, by Wednesday it was certainly defrosted and we were all set for Posh Porks.

Now, first of all, the name.  Why is it called "Posh Porks"?  Well, for years I went by the internet nickname of "PoshPaws" (and still do, in certain instances).  So, when I was building this recipe in my imagination and required a name for it, "PoshPorks" just seemed to fit.

After all, it has got some lovely ingredients - and the end result is so delicious that the prefix of "Posh" is just completely apposite.

The first time I made this dish, instead of the mushroom ketchup, I used the concentrated chicken stock that you get when you roast a chicken, but include lemon juice, or some stock, to prevent it drying out.  At the end of the cooking process, that stock decanted into a container and refrigerated until cool so that you can remove the fat, is just the most intensely savoury chicken flavouring I've ever come across.

However, this time around, I didn't have any to hand and didn't want to use Worcester Sauce or double up on the stock cube (provided it's low salt!) - but if you don't have the concentrated stock or mushroom ketchup, then either of those will do.

Mmmn, yum. Hand me a knife & fork immediately!
As you are making the dish, if you taste the stock just after you've replaced the meat, then you'll be worrying that it's a bit pale pink.  Do not be tempted to add anything to richen the mixture, because as it reduces the flavours intensify to the point where the addition of the cream is necessary to smoothen - and to a certain extent, dilute - the stock.

The end result is lovely tender pork steaks in a creamy, savoury, mushroom sauce.  The rice I served it with is perfect for mopping up the sauce - although mashed potato would be just as good.  I served it with Chantenay carrots (for the beta carotene & vit. a, plus their inherent sweetness), some Tenderstem Broccoli (for the vit. c, potassium & iron plus its lovely freshness) and the Basmati rice, which has a lovely fragrant quality.

It had been some two years since I made this recipe last and hubby was looking forward to it.  I think it says a lot for the recipe that this go round, he found it to be just as lovely as he did the first go.  Son & heir was dubious, as he really doesn't like tough pork and couldn't remember when we'd had it first, but he was "mmmmn-ing" and "oooh-ing" in appreciation just as much as anyone else - and more to the point, cleared his plate.  Now that's what I call success.



450g thin cut pork steaks, my butcher provides them in sixes!
1 onion, diced small
olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
3-4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced thinly
2-3 sticks of celery, diced fine
1 tsp thyme leaves
a small sprig of parsley, chopped fine
400ml chicken stock
2 tsp mushroom ketchup
1 tsp english mustard powder
150ml double cream (of which you should have a little left).

Method :

1.  Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan, then
flash fry the steaks with some seasoning, to create some caramelisation. Set them aside to keep warm.

2.  Add a little more olive oil and saute the onions & celery until they are transparent and just starting to take on colour.  Add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme.

3.  Allow to cook for a minute or so, then add the stock and stir to combine.

4.  Add the mushroom ketchup, parsley and mustard powder.  Stir to combine and return the meat to the pan.

5.  Bring to simmering point and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes or so to ensure the pork is cooked through. 

6.  Remove the lid, test the meat for tenderness and if you are happy with it, turn the heat up to reduce the stock.  To speed up this process, you can remove the meat again and keep it somewhere it will keep warm, such as under a warm grill.

7.  Once stock is reduced to around half, add enough cream until you achieve as mellow (lots of cream) or not (just a dash of cream) a flavour as you prefer.  Return the meat to the pan and continue to reduce until you reach your favourite consistency.

8.  Serve.



  1. This sounds lovely, i really like the addition of the mushrooom ketchup to the sauce. And getting those caramel notes combined with the smooth meaty sauce must be properly delicious.

  2. Yes, it's one of those dishes that just gets better as it cooks and as each ingredient is added. It really is lovely.


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