Today was nice enough (a rare occasion lately) to walk from the train station to Jola and Heinz’s house. When I arrived the evening’s vegetables were already prepped. This particular evening we were making Schweine Filet with lots of sides: cucumber salad (Gurken Salat), rice with Curry (Reis mit Curry), and carrots (Karotten) with brussel sprouts (Rosenkohl). All the vegetables were prepped by Heinz. Cucumbers peeled and washed. Onions and Garlic peeled and washed. Carrots and Brussel sprouts peeled, washed and waiting in the steamer. Schweine filet trimmed and washed. What I learned today is that Heinz doesn’t like finely chopping things. That part is Jola’s job and as mentioned in the last episode, she is really good. Today she taught me how to finely chop. After she showed me how she does it, I got my chance to practice.
I did it, almost as finely as hers, albeit really, really slowly. I’ll have to do more practicing. In addition to the garlic and onions I got to slice the cucumber. They use a shredding slicer. Looks like a cheese shredder but it slices. Very easy and fast. I need to invest in one of these.
For the main course we started by cutting the pork tenderloin into pieces. We used about one Kilo (2 lbs) and then with plastic wrap on top Jola beat each a little with a meat tenderizer. Once they were a bit flatter, she salted and peppered both sides and then we wrapped them individually in bacon strips. She added margarine and butter schmalz to a heavy pan and when it was hot, she added all the little pork packages. She sautéed them until they were nice and brown, around 30 minutes, periodically flipping them. Then she covered them and let them cook a little longer but keep an eye on them or they can burn. In the meantime, I was doing my chopping practice. (I have to admit it doesn’t hurt when someone is saying, “Sehr schön!” in the background. Jola is a great encourager!) After she removed the meat from the pan, she threw in the 3 or 4 finely chopped garlic cloves and the 2 onions that I chopped. Note: She left all the bacon and pork drippings with the leftover butter schmalz and margarine in the pan when she added the garlic and onion with a pinch of pepper.
She added a whole glass jar of chopped button mushrooms to the pan as well. She sautéed all that together for ten or fifteen minutes. Then she poured in a small container of heavy cream and stirred that through. She added a powder spice mixture called, “Rahm Soße zu Braten” (This basically translates to cream sauce for sauté) and she said that you could also use her favorite flavor enhancer, “Tello-fix” instead. She always shows me that it is 100% animal free and cholesterol free and “gesund.” (healthy). Admittedly, it has a nice, unrecognizeable flavor. So, it enhances without tasting like something else. Last, she added one container of crème fraîche and a handful of dried cranberries.
After she had stirred it altogether over the heat, she added the pork packages back in and then cooked it together covered for 45 minutes to an hour. I was skeptical and thought it might be overcooked or too savory but as usual the sauce was full of flavor but not too much and the sweetness of the cranberry really enhanced the savory sauce, bacon and pork flavors.
When dinner started we all discussed the name of the meal. Jola and Heinz kept describing what it was, but I said it needed a real title. I came up with, “Schweine Medalion mit süß und saltzig Rahm Soße” (Pork filet with sweet and salty cream sauce) But Thorsten definitely won the title with, “Schweine Filet Jola-naise.”