Braised Pork with Mushroom Sauce: Cast Iron Returns!

I’ve been gone….but I’m back!! First post after soaking up endless amounts of sun on coastlines of beautiful beaches! I’m a spoiled brat. Spoiled. ‘Cakes’ took me on a cruise over the past 8 days and it was the best week of my life.We had an absolutely amazing adventure exploring different cultures, countries, and coastlines! Grand Turk, La Romana, D.R., Curacas, and Aruba and coasting by Cuba, Haiti,and Venezuela. We meet some amazing people, created a lifetime worth of memories, and came back with great stories that we can’t wait to share with our families.

Back on shore…and ready to be back in my own Nebraska bed… the first trip I made after work was to the store! Meat Mecca sale! I’m a grocery store fool. I haven’t had a stockpile on proteins since the last time I had to borrow someone else’s freezer for storage assistance. Today I got to replenish my fridge with fresh veggies, fruits, and protein, yes!

There was a mushroom sauce at one of the dinners on our ship and it was a little….weak that was the idea for tonight’s meal. Funny how that works isn’t it? Sometime the best and the worst dishes can be the most inspirational. I was going to use chicken, but hey, when you have a great looking pork chop in front of you, calling sweetly from the meat counter….you don’t say no. Pork it…up?

Braising things is one of my favorite ways to cook (especially in my cast iron!). A nice crisp outside that locks all the juices and moisture inside for the perfect bite. A slight crunch, then tender perfectly cooked to 142 degrees inside. Get your pans out and preheat that oven to 375!

Braised Pork With Mushroom Sauce

I made a single portion of whole grain brown rice (not the minute rice), this will take 20-30 minutes so get this going first.
Thick cut pork chops (I used three)
Season these with fresh ground pepper and sea salt, as well as fresh garlic and few shakes of paprika and garlic powder.
Thinly slice a yellow onion, mushrooms, and a hot red pepper and set aside.
Heat (medium-high) the cast iron pan and coat with a thin layer of oil (I used Safflower). Make sure the pan is fully heated before you place anything in it.
Take your seasoned pork and sear each side (all six!) Once each side is finished (about 30 seconds a piece).
pour enough cooking sherry to deglaze the pan. Now,  then add the onion, mushrooms, and pepper around the outside perimeter combined with 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Cover with tin foil and bake until meat is cooked at 140 degrees or approximately 25 minutes.
Once the meat is up to temperature, pull out of the oven and remove the pork chops to rest aside. On the stove top, place your cast iron with vegetable to medium heat. In a small cup mix 1/4 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of flour then pour into the heated pan to make a roux, mix well until you get the consistency you desire. (adding wine here at this point isn’t offensive if you already have a bottle open!)
I also steamed some fresh steamed beans to add to the dish at this point as well.
Plate YO dinner! Rice, steamed beans, pork, then top with your mushroom sauce….and glance at a beach picture from Aruba ❤




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