Mushroom and cream sauce

This sauce is a pan sauce, which means that it is made in a pan after a piece of meat was fried in it. It uses all the juices that came out of the meat and the bits that stuck to the pan to create something delicious very fast. Sometimes I leave my sauce very plain, I just add a little water to the frying pan to make a lovely jus, but you can also make it into something a bit more special: mushroom and cream sauce.

Not all kinds of meat are suitable for pan sauces. I have the best results with all kinds of beef steaks or pork chops/fillet/loin, so basically all cuts that can be cooked fast in a hot pan. For this, I start with removing the smoke alarm from the kitchen as it tends to go off when I prepare something like this, it can get a little smoky. And you’ll have to take the meat out from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking, it should be at room temperature. And slice the mushrooms, you will not have time for that later on. For an extra luxurious version, use wild mushrooms.
Heat a thick bottomed frying pan on high heat, it should be very hot, you should not be able to hold your hand above it for more than 2-3 seconds. Add a little oil (use something that can withstand the high heat) and place your meat in the pan. Leave it for about 1 minute (do not fuss around with it!!) then turn it over (it should be nice and brown), fry for another minute. Turn the heat down, season with salt and pepper and add a knob of butter to the pan. This gives the meat a nice caramelized flavour and glossy finish. Turn over the meat once again, season this side as well. The time on low heat depends on the kind and cut of meat, a steak will need less time than a pork chop. Unfortunately I cannot give times for this, it really comes down to experience, I smell, hear and feel (cooked meat is less springy) if the meat is ready. Rest the meat between two plates to keep it warm, usually 10-15 minutes is enough, this is also the time necessary for making the sauce.
Use the same pan as frying the meat in, don’t clean it and don’t pour anything out. On medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft and a little coloured. Then add few tablespoons of cream, stir well and take off the heat. Check for seasoning. If some of the juices came out of the meat, add these to the sauce too. It gives extra flavour. If you like, you can add some herbs like parsley or tarragon to the sauce. Serve directly with the rested meat, oven baked potatoes and a mixed salad.

Mushroom and cream sauce

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