It’s been a while since I left behind my London life and with it the endless repetition of 9 to 5 office hours, and started the most satisfying and freest period of my life. One of the byproducts of this period is the present blog. Even though it’s been almost a year and a half since my leaving, the bottle of single-malt Scotch whiskey I got from my colleagues as a leaving present was still not even nearly empty. In fact roughly half of it still remained and I have to admit, drinking the other half was not entirely my doing either. The simple reason behind this is that I don’t really like whiskey as such. I fully appreciate that this bottle of 25 year old Scotch is of excellent quality as revealed by its fantastic smell also, but going further than smelling and actually drinking it is not really my thing any more. However, I have absolutely no problem with adding a mild whiskey flavour to the meat I cook. So it was clear what to do.
As I was strolling the supermarket looking for a cut of meat that would quick-start my imagination, I ran across a fresh piece of boneless pork loin which seemed to weigh a good half kilo judging by its size. It was love at first sight. After weighing it turned out to be 750 grams – just what I needed for the planned Friday night dinner for 3. The recipe was decided.
Pork Loin Steaks with Whiskey-Flavoured Mushroom and Cream Sauce
Ingrediends (for 3):
- 750 g boneless pork loin
- 400 g white mushrooms
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1.5 dl whiskey
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 dl sour cream
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
I started with preparing the meat. I washed the pork loin and cut it to steaks roughly 2 cm (3/4 inch) wide. I got 6 steaks out of the 750 g piece of loin.
I rubbed freshly ground black pepper (use as much as you prefer) into the surface of the steaks then put them aside and covered them.
Next, I moved on to (finely) chopping the onion. When finished, I washed the mushrooms and cut them into slices (together with the trunks).
I put the chopping board aside, and took a small bowl to prepare a sour cream mixture in it. I added 2 dl of sour cream, 2 tbsp white flour, freshly ground black pepper, salt and finally 1 dl of water. I mixed it until it was free of knots then put the bowl aside.
I heated a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. I started sautéing the first three slices of meat roughly 2-3 minutes each side until they were golden. In the meantime I added two more spoonful of olive oil when it started to stick. I fried the meat in two batches then put them on a plate and covered them.
In the same pan I started frying the finely chopped onion on the juices of the meat and some additional olive oil. When the onion was starting to soften I added half tbsp of salt then I stirred in the mushroom slices and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. I poured in a hint of water, covered the pan with a lid and let it steam on low to medium head for 5 minutes.
When I took off the lid I made sure almost all the water has evaporated, then I added 1.5 dl of my fine Scotch and cooked the mushroom and onion in it until most of the Whiskey evaporated, occasionally stirring it in the process. Finally, I added the cream. I brought it to a boil then cooked 2 more minutes before turning off the heat.
I took a small baking pan and lubricated it with some olive oil. I laid the steaks at the bottom and spooned the mushroom sauce on top of them. I covered the top of the pan with aluminium foil and put the pan in the pre-heated oven. I baked for 1 hour at 180 degrees Celsius. In the last 5 minutes I took off the foil.
When done, I put the steaks on plates spooning the now golden-coloured sauce generously on top, and served it with mash potato.
The end result exceeded all my expectations. The meat was tender and juicy and the slight sour taste of the sauce harmonised perfectly with the mild whiskey-flavour that remained in it. We did not leave a single bite, and even finished off the remaining sauce at the bottom of the pan.
My recommended track with this meal is Where We Believe from Falloch. This Scottish quartet from Glasgow was named after the Falls of Falloch in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland. Needless to say that one of the main inspirations to their music, which may be best categorised as atmospheric metal, is the awe-inspiring natural beauty of their land.