Recipe: Schweinemedallion in Pfefferrahmsauce

Not much to look at, but pretty tasty.

Not much to look at, but pretty tasty.

500 grams (18 oz) pork
salt and pepper
flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
5 grains allspice, ground
1 tsp green pepper corns, coarsely ground
2 Tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
1 small glass of dry white wine or brandy
150 milliliters (5.1 oz) beef broth
50 milliliters (1.7 oz) vegetable broth
200 grams (7.1 oz) cream
1 pinch of sugar
paprika
100 milliliters (3.4 oz) milk
2 egg yolks & 1 Tbsp corn starch to thicken

1. Wash the pork, pat dry, and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick slices. Press flat, then season with salt and pepper. Turn the medallions in flour and then shake off excess.

2. Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the medallions for one minute on each side. Remove the medallions from the pan and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Return the pan to the heat and fry the onion, ground allspice, and peppercorns in the pan drippings from the pork.

4. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar and white wine, bring to a boil, then add the beef and vegetable broths. Cook until volume decreases by half.

5. Add the cream to the pan and season with salt, pepper, sugar, and paprika. Return to a boil while stirring continuously.

6. Once boiling, gradually add the milk. Remove the pan from the heat. Beat the egg yolks, corn starch, and 3 Tbsp of the sauce in a cup quickly, then add the yolk/sauce mixture to the remaining sauce in the pan. Return the pan to low heat and continue cooking to the desired consistency.

7. Return the pork medallions and their juices to the pan and stir.

Notes from the original recipe:

  • The sauce tastes especially good when the wine is replaced by 8 cl brandy.
  • You can also use red pepper in place of the peppercorns, or red berries. Red peppers will make the sauce visually appealing, and the berries would make the sauce milder.
  • Instead of cream you can also use cream fraiche or sour cream.
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Neustifter Kirtag

Earlier in the spring I wrote about wine cultivation in Vienna and mentioned the Neustifter Kirtag. (The link to that post is here.) It’s now late August, and the Neustifter Kirtag is happening this weekend. My children’s kindergarten is on the street where the festival is held, and when I went to pick them up yesterday I had to dodge and weave my way through crowds of dirndl- and lederhosen-clad locals. I walked my kids through the festival yesterday and look forward to returning today to eat… well, everything in sight really. How can you blame me when this is some of what is on offer:

A whole cart dedicated to langos -- god bless whomever thought of this.

A whole cart dedicated to langos — god bless whomever thought of this.

They look so sweet until you read what they say. My favorite is "shit pants."

They look so sweet until you read what they say. My favorite is “shit pants.”

Yes

Yes

And hells yes. The Austrians know how to do it.

And hells yes. The Austrians know how to do it.

 

 

 

Gösser Eck

I am a Groupon junkie. At the very least, I hear about restaurants around the city that I would not otherwise come across as it seems to be the smaller (and usually ethnic) ones that offer deals on Groupon. I also like how restaurants offer set meals with way more food than a normal person could ever eat for a super-low price. Case in point: last night we enjoyed this Viennese feast at Gösser Eck, a beer garden located inside Prater:

Grill Plate for Two: Meat, meat, and more meat

Grill Plate for Two: Meat, meat, and more meat

The top layer consisted of two pieces of schnitzel, two sets of ribs, two Frankfurters, chicken wings, and onion rings. Underneath was a bed of buttered rice and roasted potatoes. This plate plus a digestive that tasted like a Unicum and Coke was ours for a mere Euro 14,90. I would love to report that we gave it our best shot but were overwhelmed by this meal, and unable to eat it all. Alas, with the help of some Gösser specials to wash it down we ate every last bite.

The meal was great and this is the type of restaurant that we love to visit. It is a typical Austrian restaurant with an outdoor beer garden that serves Viennese and Styrian specialties, with an emphasis on meat. When you first enter the beer garden, you see a large roaster with several entire chickens slowly rotating on spits. How can you go wrong with a restaurant that serves copious quantities of meat and beer, I ask you. We’ll be back.

Stelze

Stelze, Schweizerhaus im Prater

Stelze, Schweizerhaus im Prater

Stelze, one of my favorite Austrian dishes. The waiter in Schweizerhaus (where we ate this particular meal) referred to it in English as “pork knuckle” but I’ve also heard it called “ham hock.” I cannot see myself making this dish as it seems to involve boiling, braising, and possibly also frying or barbecuing. In other words, I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Gusshaus

Twice a year, something magical happens in Austria: Restaurant Week. Dozens of restaurants around the country offer diners a set three-course menu for a very small price (i.e., lunch is 19 Euros). I found it difficult to choose only one restaurant to try for my first Restaurant Week, but not so this time. I’ve been dying to try Gusshaus ever since I first read about it. It boasts food from across the former Habsburg empire, which of course appealed to both the historian and food lover in me.

I got to try a meal at Gusshaus yesterday and it was definitely worth the wait. When I sat down I was greeted with a bowl each of green and black olives, a basket of bread, and a spread that tasted vaguely fishy. (I love fishy-tasting food, so this was a good thing.) I ordered a glass of white wine to go with the meal, and thus the three courses of yumminess began.

Kresseschaumsuppe mit gebratenen Jakobsmuscheln

Kresseschaumsuppe mit gebratenen Jakobsmuscheln

The first course was a bowl of cress “foam” soup with fried scallops. I am not sure exactly what “foam” implies, other than perhaps the soup had neither a clear broth nor a heavy, creamy broth. The scallops were very lightly fried (if at all), and the combination of scallops and cress made for a light and delicious soup.

Mit Waldpilzen gefuelltes Tullnerfelder Jungschwein in einer Pfefferrahmsauce mit Gemuesenudeln

Mit Waldpilzen gefuelltes Tullnerfelder Jungschwein in einer Pfefferrahmsauce mit Gemuesenudeln

The main was a pork cutlet with mushroom filling, served atop noodles with grilled vegetables (carrots and zucchini) and covered in pepper-cream sauce. The meat was cooked perfectly medium-rare and was juicy and tender. The cream sauce was surprisingly light and did not overwhelm the vegetables or noodles. In other words, a fantastic main course that didn’t leave me feeling overly full and nasty.

Topfen-nougat-Knoedel auf Fruchtspiegel

Topfen-nougat-Knoedel auf Fruchtspiegel

And a good thing, too, considering this is what was served as dessert. Knoedels along the lines of the apricot ones that I made, except they were filled with a thick, delicious chocolate cream. They were accompanied by a plum compote, strawberry compote, and sugared mint and lavender. I admit the picture is blurry because I might have been too excited about eating these.

And now I am dreaming about the next Restaurant Week…