Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rosemary Cream Sauce with Mushrooms

I have looked for the right compliment to my classic roasted pork tenderloin for a few years now and I have finally come up with a rich sauce that marries the flavors in this lean cut of meat with some creaminess and herbs that really give a huge flavor boost to the meal.

I'm not a huge fan of spending a lot of extra time in the kitchen, though I really did want something a little more robust and hearty than serving the pork in its own pan drippings.  And for me, a standard gravy did not have the depth of flavor and intensity that I was looking for.  Since I season the pork tenderloin with Italian herbs, sometimes tossing in a sprig or two of fresh rosemary to give the pork some extra flavor, a gravy tends to mask the flavors rather than highlighting them the way I'd prefer.

In this recipe, I use the pan drippings I already get from the pork to get a sauce that contains just the right nuances of flavor.  This can work wonders with roasted chicken, just use the pan drippings to get all the flavor you need to really make your meal fancy and delicious.

What I love about this sauce is how quickly it comes together.  If you have your mushrooms chopped and sauteed, it takes less than 5 minutes to make this sauce.  And if you are entertaining and want something a little different than a traditional gravy, this sauce is just the ticket.  Even if you are not a fan of rosemary, you favorite fresh herb (like sage or thyme) can work just as well in this versatile recipe.

1 sprig of rosemary ($.20)
8 mushrooms, sliced thin ($.35)
1 T. olive oil ($.10)
1 1/2 T. butter ($.20)
1 T. white wine (optional) ($.10)
salt and pepper to taste ($.05)
1 C. pan drippings (free)
1/3 C. heavy cream ($.35)
2 T. cornstarch ($.15)

In a large skillet, add olive oil and butter and melt over low heat.  When butter is melted, add in sprig of rosemary and let the rosemary infuse for 2-3 minutes.  Remove rosemary and add sliced mushrooms, raising the heat to medium high and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender - 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season mushrooms to taste.  Add in wine and cook until wine reduces by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add pan drippings (or chicken stock) to mushrooms and bring to a simmer (1 to 2 minutes).  Whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch, pour slowly into pan of simmering mushrooms, cook at a low simmer until sauce reach desired consistency.  Serve hot over sliced pork tenderloin.

Yields = 6 servings

Cost: $1.50
Cost per serving: $.25

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