1969. Kraft Foods came out with a happenin’ little advertisement featuring all kinds of exotic food fantasies from around the world, including one called Porc Pyrenees (their spelling and lack of accent). It looked as though it would be tasty, but, while I could find confirmation that pòrc was authentically old French, I couldn’t find any supporting data for the rest of the recipe being related to or coming from the Pyrénées. A little more research, and I found a few ideas to make this sorta, kinda, French-ish stew happen at our place.
•18 oz pork tenderloin, cubed
•1/4 cup flour
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
(or crushed red pepper)
•3 small yellow onions and 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•5 carrots, peeled and sliced
•2 cups sliced ‘shrooms
•1 cup Catalina French dressing
•1/2 cup sherry or brandy
•1/2 cup water
•1/4 tsp dried thyme
•1 bay leaf
•Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the flour with the Seasoned Salt, black pepper and Aleppo pepper in a large bowl, then toss with the cubed pork to coat.
Heat one or two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium high, then add the flour coated pork cubes.
Sauté for another five minutes, then turn out of the pot into a platter or large bowl.
Deglaze the pan with the water and sherry, scraping up any of those tasty browned bits stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan.
A note on the sherry: I picked up a very nice Amontillado at Trader Joe’s for just such a use in soups and stews, but next time I make this stew, I believe I will use brandy, which was the spirit of choice in one of the more authentic (but still not Pyrénéan) recipes I used to create this dish.
Return the pork, onion, and garlic to the pot along with the carrots and ‘shrooms.
Cook, stirring and scraping up any stubborn crusty bits from the bottom and sides of the pot, for another ten minutes or so, until the ‘shrooms are nicely browned and glossy.
Serve the stew over rice or noodles with freshly chopped parsley.
A fine dinner for a cold and damp fall evening; tho’ next time, as I noted above, I will use brandy in place of the sherry, and will probably double the garlic and Aleppo pepper.
Still, not a bad blast from the past. Even if it’s not really French.