Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hungarian Tenderloin a la Zsuzsi

Days before I left for Ireland, Zsuzsi and John taught me the trick to her renowned pork tenderloin -a dish that Andreas & I had enjoyed muchly on a previous visit. I have never actually made this myself, so I realize that it is quite brash of me to post anything about  it. The thing is that Kinga wants to cook it tomorrow in Vancouver – and she has been pleading for the recipe ever since I told her about it - and I am currently in Dublin. So, for better or worse, here goes.

The first essential is that everyone in the kitchen should have a glass of wine.This photo is so that Kinga knows that I am doing my bit while I am penning this blog from my hotel room in Ireland.

Some of you may recognize my travelling “mug”. Mikolt made it for me, maybe 40 years ago.
The next thing is that this is less of a recipe, and more of a process, one that involves constant tasting and adjusting. More pepper. More wine. More seasoning. It is also quite forgivable. The only difference being that it could either taste really good, or else it could taste beyond excellent. It all comes down to the tasting ability of the cook. How’s that for pressure?

Next ....
The tenderloin is sliced about the thickness of a thumb (or a bit more). John taught me this part.
Then it is time to be ruthless. Maxwell's silver hammer. Bang bang.

One red onion cut into 1 ½ inch rings that look like above.

Four cloves of garlic and one red pepper.
Bread the cutlets with dredging flour that contains generous shakes of Lowry’s seasoning salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Then set the cutlets aside.
Saut̩ the onions on low heat until they are tenderly limp, turning them often. Then add the peppers, and turn the heat up to medium high. Toss them around until they glisten and are just slightly cooked. When they look good, push the onions and peppers to the outer perimeter of the pan, and plop the slices of pork into the middle of the pan (maybe add a bit more cooking oil Рwhich I forgot to mention before) until they are slightly seared on one side, and then turn them and slide them beneath the peppers and onions to continue to cook. Now you have space to add more cutlets. Continue adding cutlets and tucking them under the peppers and onions until they are all used up.

Now add several generous pinches of sweet paprika – the kind Zsuzsi’s Mum gets but can’t get anymore. I know how much of a helpful detail this is for most people, but Kinga knows her paprikas, so she will understand and know what kind to get. Then, add a goodly pour of decent red wine to the onions, peppers, pork & paprika, stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan, and add more Lowry’s seasoning salt and garlic powder, and cover for about 7 minutes and leave to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. I can't add a picture of this stage of the process - there was steam on my lens. Oh, well.

I can tell you that as it simmered we were sipping wine, and I heard that Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life was an excellent read. But back to the recipe. We had to remind ourselves of this because our conversation was so diverting. Lift the lid, turn the cutlets, add more wine, seasoning salt and garlic powder and maybe a bit more paprika. Add a bit of water until everything is not quite covered. Lift the lid from time to time, and add more wine according to taste. It may take as much as half a bottle. For the cooking, that is. The cooking time is about 35 minutes. Longer is OK too.

Serve with potato and yam mash made with warmed milk and chives (I think). Add a side salad - and it is one of those heaven-on-earth times. 

Thank you Zsuzsi. Thank you John.
PS This is a very fast, slap-dash post. Please let me know if it works.

1 comment:

  1. It works enough that I have a very strong hankering to find a pork tenderloin and make this recipe immediately. Blessings to you for posting this. I'm all over it.