Monday, December 6, 2010

201. Pork Birds and Mushroom Gravy, Elevated

I love sage dressing with freshly baked turkey and hot, mashed potatoes covered in creamy, brown is a mouth-watering combination. I have also enjoyed this satisfying side dish with baked chicken or pork chops. It can even be blended with broth to thicken hearty soups. Sage dressing is definitely a flavorful companion dish.

Long ago, one of my sons made a slightly different sandwich with leftovers from Thanksgiving. He put dressing on a slice of bread and then loaded sliced turkey on top of that and finished it off with another piece of bread. Although a dressing sandwich is not lo-cal, the taste is amazing; I just have to have one every November!

Another way to enjoy sage dressing is to make little pork birds. The meat is wrapped around the dressing and tied in place to form little bird-like shapes. This recipe can elevate an inexpensive piece of meat to become a gourmet treat.

Pork Birds and Mushroom Gravy

2 boneless pork chops or steaks
1 C sage dressing (recipe #172)
Pepper blend
Olive oil

Remove as much fat from pork as possible. Pound each piece to flatten and thin-out slightly. Place dressing in the middle of both pieces of meat. Fold meat around the dressing and tie together with string or fasten with toothpicks so that meat surrounds dressing and the edges meet. Even small pieces of meat may be stitched together with toothpicks to form the outside of the bird. (I used toothpicks and string...actually, I did not have any string and used pieces of unflavored dental floss).

Heat a frying pan on med-high heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add pork birds and brown on all sides, turning carefully with tongs. When browned, salt and pepper to taste and add water come half-way up the sides of the birds. Turn down heat and cover pan. Simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is tender. Turn birds after 20 minutes. (Prepare mushroom gravy, below, during the  last 20 minutes of cooking). Remove cooked birds and set aside. Spoon out any fat from pan.
Mushroom Gravy

1/2 C sliced mushrooms
3 T margarine
3 T flour
1 C chicken broth

Heat a small pot on med-high heat. Add margarine. When melted, turn heat down to low and blend in flour. Stir continually for 1 minute. Add broth gradually, stirring while liquid is added. Gravy will thicken as it cooks. Add sliced mushrooms and allow to simmer until tender. Remove from heat.

Add gravy to juices in the frying pan and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Remove string and toothpicks from meat and slice. Serve little birds with gravy.

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