A bit of mushrooms, plus pork

We ran into a Really Good sale on Mushrooms this week. There were also some better than normal prices on cheese.

I wound up making stuffed mushrooms – a LOT of stuffed mushrooms. Now the epicureans are going to be bothered here, but in my current financial position I use Krab (pollock) instead of more expensive fish for these. Worse, I used pre-packaged seasoned croutons. The filling went like this:

Half a cup of croutons (I used Caesar seasoned, pick what works for you) crushed. (It’ll make about a quarter cup once crushed.)
1/4 cup shredded seafood (yeah, I used Krab. I’d have loved to use crab, or lobster, but…)
1/2 cup butter, softened.
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Stems from half a pound of mushrooms, chopped finely and cooked till soft. Use the liquid off this as well.

Mix thoroughly, and stuff into the remaining caps of that half a pound of mushrooms. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, till the mushrooms are browned. Finish by broiling till the cheese is lightly toasted.

Now the thing is, I made too much filling. (That recipe above is CUT DOWN from what I made. sigh.) I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get more mushrooms – they pretty much flew off the shelves. So I had extra filling and no idea… ah.

I had these pork steaks. Pork steaks are a CHEAP piece of meat in most stores – meaning a bit tough and a fair amount of connective tissue, not to mention the inevitable bone. Like large, lower quality pork chops, really. I pulled out my large cast iron skillet, put it in the oven, and heated the oven to 350. Meanwhile I boned and cleaned a bit over a pound of these steaks (2 of them where I bought them), removing silverskin but not much else in the way of connective tissue and fats. This left me with just enough meat to cover the bottom of the skillet in one layer with not much space between the meat.

When the oven hit temp I popped all the meat into it, let it sit for 2 minutes, then turned the meat over. At that point I spread the remaining mushroom filling over the top of all the meat – the layer was between 1/4 and 1/3 inch thick. Back into the oven for 20 minutes, finish with a quick broil to brown the top, out and plate and serve.

Wait, 20 minutes? Wasn’t the pork too tough at that point? No. Browning one side had pulled a fair amount of heat from the pan. And the filling… all that butter plus the mushroom liquor plus the fats from the pork itself wound up giving me a braise. If it hadn’t been so rich already I’d have thickened the sauce and used it, too — the butter, seasoning, and mushroom liquor from the topping plus the richness from the pork was VERY tasty, oh yes it was.

No, I didn’t get pictures. People were HUNGRY when it came out, and the camera’s batteries were dead. They’ve been changed and I’ll see if I can’t get a shot next time I make it. Because there WILL be a next time, oh, yes.


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