Fricassée à la Forestiere
A classic Fricassée is a dish in which cut-up meat is first sauteed (but not browned), then simmered in a light sauce, often with added cream. I have called the dish you see above a Fricassée à la Forestiere because of its rustic nature, and because I use my fathers technique of giving lean Pork a lengthy marination in Wine to simulate the taste of Wild Boar.
The Recipe Card below calls for ‘mixed Mushrooms’. Here, I used a package of Oyster, Crimini and Button Mushrooms purchased at the supermarket, and I rounded out the mix with some reconstituted dried Shiitake. You can use any blend you like, or even a single type, but it is really a good idea to have at least some Shiitake in there as they will enhance the umami-depth of the finished dish.
As for the Wine, my father’s technique of marinating regular lean Pork to make it taste like Wild Boar always used a hearty Red Wine. I wish to preserve the ‘whiteness’ of a Fricassée here, so I am using a White Wine instead. Choose something that is dry, and with some tannic structure to it.
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 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Your Recipe Card:
Fricassée à la Forestiere
- 1 lb. 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.
- Trim the pork of fat and then cut it 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 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally.
- Sauté the pork in two tablespoons of butter over moderate heat until no pink remains, then remove to a bowl.
- Add another two tablespoons of butter to the pan and sauté the mushrooms along with the remaining pepper, without browning too much, then remove to the bowl with the Pork.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and sauté the leeks just until softened.
- Add back the meat and the mushrooms, along with the remaining wine and the sherry, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about one half.
- Sprinkle the flour over the pan contents, stirring 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.
- Serve immediately, or chill overnight to allow the flavors to meld, then gently re-heat for service the next day.