Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Porc Prajita Cu Paprika ( Moldavian Roast Pork Paprikash)


6 to 8 servings.


3 lb. boneless Boston butt, rolled and tied
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 sm. onions, coarsely chopped
1 Italian (pale green frying)pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
4 fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 rib celery with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
1-1/2 cups beef stock or canned broth, or more as needed
2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
10 oz. fresh white mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 scant tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a sharp knife, make deep slits all over the meat and insert the garlic slivers, as deep as possible, into the slits. Rub the meat with salt and pepper.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large casserole over medium heat. Add the meat and brown it on all sides. Off the heat, spread the mustard over the meat with a spatula.

Add the onions, Italian pepper, tomatoes, celery, and stock to the casserole. Sprinkle the meat and vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika and roast for 1 3/4 hours, turning the meat, and basting with the pan juices from time to time. Prick the meat with a skewer, if the juices run clear, the meat is done.

While the meat is roasting, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms throw off and reabsorb their liquid, about 12 minutes. remove from the heat and reserve.

Remove the roast from the casserole, place on a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil.

Strain the pan juices and skim off the fat. Return one-third of the roasted vegetables to the pan juices. Puree another one-third in a food mill or push through a fine sieve. Add the puree to the pan juices. Discard the rest of the vegetables.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 2 minutes. Whisk in the pan juices.

Add the wine, lemon juice, minced garlic, thyme, parsley and additional salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and the remaining paprika and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Carve the pork into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter. Pass the sauce separately in a sauce boat.

Comments from olga:

Moldavians have a special fondness for sauces and gravies, such as the one with this roast, generously spiced with garlic, herbs, and paprika. These sauces are really the essential part of the dish, especially when spooned over mamaliga--their beloved corn mush--which is a must with any Moldavian meal. Do try to make mamaliga at least once; but also remember that this delectable pork roast will taste almost as good with Garlicky Mashed Potatoes.

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