For last night’s dinner with Matt & Rachael, I whipped up a dish that I first made almost exactly a year ago, for a dinner party in celebration of Francesca’s birthday (this photo, which I used for my very first About Me post, was taken during that party). Loosely based on this recipe, it’s perfect for a dinner party because most of the work can be done in advance, because it can easily be adjusted to serve as many as needed, and because it requires very little precision, so you can drink your wine and chat with your guests while you putter about in the kitchen taking care of the last few steps.
APPLE-Y PORK MEDALLIONS w/ PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS (serves 4; just play around with the proportions if you’re serving more people)
What you need:
2-3 pork medallions per person, depending on thickness and hunger level
3/4 stick butter
4-6 large portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced (shittake mushrooms work well too, but they’re a bit more expensive)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup apple cider
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I like the kind with the coarse grains)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
What you do:
1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the pork medallions. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (I usually just do this step in the morning and let it sit all day).
2. Remove pork from liquid; strain and reserve marinade.
3. Boil a pot of water and cook the unpeeled shallots for about five minutes.
4. Immediately transfer the shallots to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking; peel shallots.
5. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced portobello mushrooms and the shallots and cook until shallots are translucent (about five minutes). Remove mushrooms and shallots from pan using a slotted spoon.
6. Add your reserved marinade to the pan and bring to a light simmer. Continue cooking until liquid has reduced by a third.
7. Meanwhile, heat the olive in another large pan (I use a big wok).
8. Pat the pork medallions dry with paper towels, put them in the large pan, and saute over medium heat until cooked through.
9. When marinade is sauce-like, blend in the remaining butter.
10. To serve, put the pork medallions on a large platter and arrange the mushrooms and shallots on top. Spoon a little sauce over each portion, and garnish plates with rosemary.
I served this dish alongside Super Salad (which I dressed a little too early, so it was a bit wilty by the time I took this picture – remember to dress your salad at the very last second possible!), but it’s also nice served with Brussels Sprouts w/ Pancetta & Mushrooms and some homemade biscuits, as pictured below (at last summer’s dinner party).