When I lived in São Paulo one of my favorite dishes was the paprika schnitzel from a German restaurant called “Jucalemão“. Sauteed pork cutlets, pounded thin, were served hidden beneath a sea of deliciously creamy sauce, bright with the color of paprika, and paired with three big potato dumplings (knodels). I learned of Jucalemão at age 19 from my first boyfriend, and my last visit was 14 years (or…. two boyfriends and a husband ;-)) later. When I left Brazil for good, I never returned. Whenever we come back to São Paulo for a visit I intend to stop by with Phil, but something always prevents us. As a result, I have a permanent craving for that fantastic dish. I’ve ordered pork paprikash in other places (even in Germany!), but it was not as I remember it from Jucalemão. So, when I got a feed from Martha Stewart Everyday Food with the two magical words on the subject, a deep feeling of nostalgia hit me. I had to make it, even though I knew it would be a different take on the dish of my past.
(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise, cut in slivers
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 can (14 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup sour cream
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until tender; drain and return to pot. Stir in a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking, cover and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine pork with 1 tablespoon paprika; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, when very hot add the pork slivers, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Return skillet to stove; reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon oil and shallots; cook until the pieces are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pork, remaining tablespoon paprika, tomatoes with their juice, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, until sauce is slightly thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon,about 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat, and stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper. If necessary, warm it up over very gentle heat, just briefly. Serve paprikash over noodles.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I had never treated pork tenderloin by this method of cutting in slices and stir-frying. I toned down my expectations, assuming it would turn out too dry. Well, we both enjoyed our meal quite a bit. It doesn’t have the complexity of a similar preparation using pork butt or shoulder, but it was flavorful enough with all the paprika, and cooked so fast that I can see myself adapting other sauces and seasonings to bring tenderloin to our table. Until now, I’d always resorted to either the 7-6-5 method, or butterflying it and grilling (Phil’s favorite kind).
As to the pork paprikash of my past, maybe I should contact the restaurant. I got this craving, and January is still pretty far away… 😉
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TWO YEARS AGO: Auvergne Rye Bread with Bacon
THREE YEARS AGO: Anticipation