Fricassée à la Forestiere

Fricassée à la Forestiere 1

The name of today’s dish may sound as though it is a classic of French cuisine but, in fact, I made it up to suit the result. It is definitely a Fricassee, being meat cooked, without browning, in a white sauce, and it is similar to other dishes given the appellation ‘Forestiere’ in that it is somewhat rustic and contains mushrooms. The use of pork may not strike one as being especially forest-related (hare, squirrel, or even venison being perhaps more appropriate) but I am going to marinate the pork with wine first (a technique I learned from my father) in order to give it something of the flavor of wild boar. This technique usually uses a strong, full-bodied red wine to achieve the effect but I want to keep the traditional pale color of a Fricassee, so I am using white… 

The Ingredients

  • 1lb. lean Pork;
  • 1 cup very dry White Wine;
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Puree;
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh Sage;
  • 1 tsp. ground Black Pepper;
  • 1 pinch Salt;
  • 1 tbsp. Oil;
  • 5 tbsp. Butter;
  • 2 cups mixed Mushrooms;
  • 1 cup chopped Leek;
  • ¼ cup Sherry;
  • 2 tbsp. Flour;
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream;
  • ¼ cup Sherry.

*For Mushrooms, I picked up a blended package (Oyster, Crimini and Buttons) which I extended with some reconstitutes Shiitake.

The Method

Fricassée à la Forestiere 2

Trim the pork of fat and then cut into bite-size cubes. Mix together the garlic, sage, salt, ½ tsp. of pepper and the oil along with ½ cup of the wine and then marinate the pork in this mixture for 12 hours, turning the meat occasionally.

Fricassée à la Forestiere 3

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over moderate heat and sauté the pork until no pink remains. Remove the pork to a bowl for now and reduce the pan juices that remain.

Fricassée à la Forestiere 4

Melt another two tablespoons of butter in the pan and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with the remaining pepper and then cover the pan until the mushrooms have largely thrown off their water content. Uncover and continue to cook until the liquid is all but evaporated. Avoid browning and, when done, remove the mushrooms to the same bowl as the meat.

Fricassée à la Forestiere 5

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and sauté the leeks just until softened. Now, add back the meat and the mushrooms along with the remaining wine and the sherry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about one half.

Fricassée à la Forestiere 6

Sprinkle the flour over the meat , leek and mushrooms and stir well. Then, add the stock and the cream and turn the heat to low. Simmer very gently until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened nicely.

You can serve it at this point (perhaps with greens and mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce) or you can let it cool and then re-heat later. Choosing the latter will improve the flavor no end. Enjoy…

7 thoughts on “Fricassée à la Forestiere”

  1. Love this and shall try! Atavism rears its head here ~ the word ‘fricassee’ was used in my childhood home in N Europe methinks every week ~ I seem to remember usually in the form of a veal one, so much loved by Estonians. I don’t think I have ever personally cooked this but love the method and your ‘heavy handedness’ with mushrooms and leek and the fact that reheating seems to improve it [as does curry] the appeal to someone living alone is considerable. Thanks!!!

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