I came home on Friday night in a seriously blue funk after a client reneged on his promise to pay up and left me in a dreadful bind, looking like a complete and utter idiot after waiting for a whole six hours for either a call or text from him. Ask my friend Michi-meow: I was ready to throw in the towel, give up, and shoot myself in the head or get myself run over by a truck because I felt so bad about the whole thing.
Most of Saturday, I was pretty lethargic and spent much of the day glued to the tube. I thought I was going to be out of commission all weekend until the folks at home reminded me that it was my turn to cook.
That shook me out of my blue funk in a flash.
But I wasn’t in the mood to do anything healthy, like a simple pasta pomodoro or a chicken stir-fry with a lot of veg. I needed some serious comfort food: something rib-sticking with a lot of flavor, preferably smothered in a rich, creamy sauce. Since I didn’t have any lasagne on hand and we just had potatoes the other day, I decided to improvise.
I am very pleased to say that the resulting dish was fabulous.
This is what I call my gratin de porc oignonnade avec champignons. In plain English, these are pork rolls stuffed with sausage, covered in an onion-mushroom sauce and a snowdrift of grated Edam cheese, and baked till deliciously, unctuously golden. Pair it with some sauteed veg and steamed rice and you’ve a feast fit for a king. Or at least something to soothe your injured pride in the event of a crashing bout of dismay and disappointment.
Gratin de Porc Oignnonade avec Champignons
1/4 kilo pork cutlets (about 4 – 5 pieces), pounded flat
1 teaspoon rock salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can Vienna sausage, drained
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
ground pepper, to taste
1 small can whole button mushrooms, drained and liquid reserved
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup grated Edam cheese
1/4 cup salted butter
- oil for frying.
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine the cutlets with the salt, sage and thyme. Rub the seasonings well into the meat and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes. Pound the marinated cutlets to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Mash the Vienna sausages with the pepper and Italian seasoning. Spread about half a teaspoon of the stuffing onto a pounded cutlet. Dredge the cutlet in flour and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining cutlets. You’re going to have some stuffing left over; set it aside.
Fry the rolls in the oil over medium heat until nicely browned. Remove from the pan, being sure to drain off any excess oil, and place in a baking dish with the mushrooms. Crumble the remaining stuffing over the rolls and mushrooms.
Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5 / 375 degrees.
Melt the butter in a pan and saute the sliced onion till softened and somewhat translucent. Add the flour left over from dredging and cook until the mixture turns a nutty shade of brown. Add enough milk to the liquid from the mushrooms to yield 1 – 1/2 cups liquid. Add to the onion roux and cook whilst stirring till thickened. Pour over the prepared rolls; scatter over the grated Edam.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Serves 6.
I can’t begin to tell you how luscious and comforting this dish is. The next time you find yourself feeling blue; try making this at home. You won’t regret it. 😀