Pork ragout with mushrooms
If I want to eat some pork dish, which is easy to make, not time consuming, but not pörkölt or paprikash, I often prepare this ragout. Contrary to the Hungarian traditions, this dish doesn’t contain paprika. The main spices are tarragon and garlic; latter is added to the dish only a few minutes before the end of the cooking time, so its flavour won’t be lost, but it will remain dominant.
Mushrooms, besides being delicious, offer surprising nutritional benefits, containing copper, potassium, B vitamins, and selenium. They taste best when eaten fresh, therefore it’s recommended not to buy mushrooms until a day or two before use. This inconvenience might restrict you, however it can be easily resolved: frozen mushrooms are no worse than fresh ones.
Mushrooms are picked or harvested at the peak of their freshness, and snap frozen within hours. This maximises nutrient levels, keeping them at levels similar to those found in fresh food. In fact they may be even higher when compared to those mushrooms that have been picked fresh but sit for days prior to use. I always keep 1-2 packages of frozen mushrooms in my freezer, so I can make a yummy dish whenever the craving strikes.
- 500 g (~1 lb) pork (leg or shoulder), diced
- 300 g (~2/3 lb) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lard
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1/2 tsp black and white pepper
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) sour cream
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped
Sauté the finely chopped onion in lard until translucent. Add diced pork and fry until all sides turn white. Season with salt, pepper and tarragon, pour in 2 cups of water, cover the pan and cook over low heat until pork is nearly tender (add more water if needed). When the meat is almost done, add sliced mushrooms and keep cooking until mushrooms and pork are soft and tender. Whisk flour, sour cream and a half cup of water together, pour into the ragout, add crushed garlic, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. Serve with steamed rice.