Pork Cutlet

Recipe: Smothered Steak

On a recent road trip into my roots in South Louisiana, we stopped for lunch at a favored café. Their  lunch specials included smothered steak, aka “grillades” there. This was a prized dish in my  mother’s  kitchen —  she a South Louisianian herself — so I ordered it. Took me back to my childhood! Even cleaned up the remaining gravy with the yeast rolls provided. So here’s the recipe and you will soon have the necessary cutlets in your cooler.

Mom’s Smothered Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1 package JVF tenderized beef or pork cutlets, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. garlic
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. oil (I add a tablespoon of butter)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (or use 1c. organic beef brother and eliminate water and cube)
  • 1 medium yellow onion

Directions:

  1. Mix the seasonings in a small bowl. Put flour on a flat dish. Coat each piece of cutlet with spices and rub the spices into the groves in the cutlets. You should cover the pieces with the spices while retaining some of the spices for later. Dredge each piece in flour. Rub flour in too, then re-dredge in the flour.
  2. Heat oil and butter on a medium high burner and preferably in a cast iron skillet but any will do. Add cutlets and fry for 1 minute then cut heat back to medium. Fry 4-5 minutes on each side, then remove to drain on a paper towel.
  3. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of oil/butter and bring back to medium high heat, sprinkling in 3 T. flour. Whisk it into the oil and cook until you have a brown roux. Add the cup of water and a bouillion cube (or not) and mix until the gravy thickens slightly. Add all or part of remaining seasoning to taste.
  4. Replace cutlets in gravy, top with onion rings, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes and you’re ready to eat. I like it served over rice or with a good yeast roll. Whatever you prefer is fine but the gravy is delicious too so have some method for cleaning the plate at the table!

The Frugal Chef

Farmers are frugal but not pound foolish, using their resources to their potential while also enhancing them for the next season.. We cannot afford to waste our grasses, our garden, or our orchard or woods. The goal is to use them wisely. You can and probably do, adopt the same attitude in the kitchen. Waste is a bad thing in all aspects of life - it’s just plain sinful. So let’s talk about how to make these clean, nutritious meats go a long way at your dinner table.

I’ll use a typical cooler of monthly meats and what you can do with them as our working example of how many individual servings can come from one box. My assumption about weights per serving come from my up bringing in the food business. Chefs assume 4 to 6 ounces of meat per individual serving - and chefs always want to have more food than they think they will need.

  • 1 big fat hen weighs 3 lbs. Roast it and yield 1 breast and 1 hind quarter the first night for 2 servings. Trim the other breast and hind quarter the second night for sandwiches, 4 servings. Simmer the wings and the remaining carcass into stock then scrape the attached meat off, toss the carcass, and make a chicken noodle and vegetable soup. At least 4 soup servings. Total servings from 1 big fat hen: 10.
  • 1 beef roast weighs 2 lbs. Make my favorite, the pot roast with plenty of vegetables included. 5 servings. Or use half of the roast for sandwiches the next night and get 7 or 8 servings from the roast (can you tell that I like sandwiches and soups? You can do so much with them in term of variety of taste and nutrients added). Total servings from one roast: 5 to 8
  • 1 pork roast weighs 2 lbs. Ditto the above. Total servings per roast: 5 to 8
  • 2 beef steaks weigh 28 ounces. Treat yourself and get only 2 (massive) servings from the steaks. Total: 2 servings
  • 1 pkg pork or beef shanks weigh 1 lb. Make Osso Bucco and serve 4 or make a pot of beans with the shanks as the compliment and serve 6. Total servings: 4 to 6.
  • 2 pkgs ground beef weighs 2 lbs. Use 1 to make spaghetti carbonara for 4 servings and the other to make quarter pound burgers for 4 more. Or make a beef vegetable soup and add 2 more servings. Total servings: 8-10
  • 2 pkgs ground pork weighs 2 lbs. Ditto above. Total servings: 8-10
  • 2 pkgs country sausage weighs 28 ounces. Grill and eat and get 7 servings or make a sausage and bean on rice dish and extend it to 10 hearty servings. Total servings: 7 to 10.
  • 1 pkg beef or pork cutlets weighs ½ pound: Bread it and fry in your pork lard and make 2 servings. Total servings: 2

As a frugal chef, you will yield at least 51 and as many as 66 generous servings from 1 cooler of meat. And I have no doubt that you will find even more ways to stretch it - these are the obvious ones.

Food is life, just as essential as  air, water and sunshine. We can have it all if we are frugal and wise.

Recipe: Pork Stir Fry

We are always impressed by your cooking techniques applied to Jolie Vue meats. Here is a recipe sent from Cynthia Benson, tested and enthusiastically endorsed:

Cynthia’s Pork Stir Fry

Marinate a pkg of tenderized JVF pork cutlets for thirty minutes in:

  • ½ C. soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 T. Honey
  • 1 t. sesame oil
  • 1 clove crushed garlic grated ginger to taste (Cynthia notes that the nooks and crannies created by the tenderizer soak up the marinade and adds “YUM”).

Then cut 1 or 2 bunches green onion into 2 inch pieces and a few chopped stalks of asparagus Slice the cutlets into strips and throw into a hot wok or skillet with the marinade until cooked; set pork aside.

Cook the green onions and asparagus in the marinade until tender, add pork back and serve over rice noodles. You could substitute beef cutlets or fajita but use broccoli instead of asparagus for an Asian Beef and Broccoli dish.