Pork and Mushroom Ragout
- SERVINGS: 4
Portobellos add substance but their black gills can darken the stew and make it look unappetizing. To prevent this, remove the gills with a spoon before chopping the mushrooms.
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced sage
- 1 2/3 pounds fresh Portobello mushrooms, caps and stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the dried porcini. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Drain the porcini, pressing down on them to extract as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid and discard the porcini.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Season half of the pork with salt and pepper and cook in a single layer over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and pork. Add the onion, garlic, sage, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Portobello pieces and cook until their volume is reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine, raise the heat to high and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid, stopping when you reach the grit at the bottom. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the pork and its juices to the casserole and simmer gently until the pork is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
The savory flavors of this mushroom-rich meat dish call for a light Italian red with its own earthy flavors, such as a Chianti Classico.