Given that it used to be the default way of eating in Australia, it’s fascinating how few meals now involve the classic meat and three veg. This sort of meal is now a rare occurrence for my family (due to both eating a wider range of cuisines and deliberate choices for environmental reasons) and I think I’ve only got a couple of posts with a piece of meat as the centrepiece.
Usually the meals like this that I still cook have something that makes them a bit more interesting – whether it’s the seasoning, or a sauce, or particular accompaniments. This dish has all three, with a twist on the classic roast pork and apple sauce in the form of a rich stock based glaze with caramelised apple and sage.
My family rarely ate this sort of meal when I was growing up either, mostly for reasons of economy, so it actually took me a while to be comfortable pan frying steaks and other pieces of meat, judging the doneness etc. This being pork makes it a little easier, as while I know the advice is that pork doesn’t need to be well done, you’re still unlikely to be eating it rare, and I prefer it with only the faintest hint of pink, which does make it less time critical!
I came across this recipe as part of a long ago Delicious magazine article on how to make an easy pan sauce, and I have certainly used this basic formula of sautéing, adding liquid, deglazing, and reducing to make other sauces for beef or chicken. Once you’ve tried this, definitely try changing the protein (beef, chicken or fish), deglazing liquid (stock, juice or wine), sautéed extras (shallots, cherry tomatoes, or lemon slices) and herbs (thyme, basil or dill), or many other options (add a splash of cream), and you will get an absolutely different dish with the same technique.
Do you make a sauce when you pan fry meat?
Pork medallions with caramelised apple and sage
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbs butter
- 4 pork medallion steaks, approximately 150g each, at room temperature
- 3 apples, preferably golden delicious or Granny Smith
- 1½ Tbs brown sugar
- 250ml beef stock
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 sprigs sage
Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Peel the apples and slice into thin wedges. Remove the stalks from the sage leaves and slice across.
Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy based steel or cast iron frying pan over medium heat only. When cooking pork you don’t need to sear the steaks too quickly. Add the steaks to the pan, and fry for about 4-6 minutes per side until golden, and they have only a slight give when you press them. Remove from the pan and put aside covered.
Add a little extra butter to the pan and increase heat. Tip in the apples, and fry, stirring often until softened and just starting to brown. Add the sugar and cook another few minutes until caramelised around the edges. Remove the apples from the pan and also put aside.
Increase heat to high, and pour in about a quarter of the stock, plus any juices given off by the steaks. Stir, scraping the pan often, until all the caramelised juices are dissolved and mixed into the stock. Add the remaining stock, and boil rapidly until reduced by about two thirds. The sauce should be obviously thicker and shinier. Return the apples to the pan with the sage and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper if needed. You may not need salt depending how salty the stock is.
Serve the steaks topped with the apples and sauce, and accompanied with boiled or steamed small potatoes and green beans or asparagus.