Vincent and Mary Price’s Steak Au Poivre | Probably the best steak recipe ever!

A Treasury of Great RecipesHaving tried four of the 10 steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, the one I keep coming back to is Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak). OMG! I’m salivating just at the mention of it.

‘If you think, as I do, that black pepper and rare beef make beautiful music together, then you will like this steak recipe too. We learned it in Chicago from friends who had brought it back from France in this stockyard city must be especially alert to new ways of preparing beef. This one is a winner.’ VINCENT PRICE

Steak Au Poivre: A Treasury of Great RecipesSteak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak)

INGREDIENTS
sirloin steak
dry white wine
brandy (optional)
butter
cooking oil
watercress

METHOD
1 Wipe with a damp cloth: a 1 1/4-inch sirloin steak (3 pounds). Dry carefully.

2 Coarsely crush: 2 tablespoons peppercorns. (Use a mortar and pestle or a potato masher.)

3 Pound crushed pepper into both sides of the steak, smacking it in with flat side of a cleaver or the potato masher. Steak should be quite thickly covered. Let stand for 2 hours.

4 In a heavy skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon cooking oil. (This mixture can get hotter without burning strain it if you want the loose bits of than butter alone.)

5 Over high heat sear steak quickly on peppercorns both sides. Cook 5 minutes on each side.

6 Remove steak to a hot platter.

7 Stir into pan: 2/3 cup dry white wine and 1 tablespoon brandy (optional). Boil wine rapidly for 2 minutes, scraping up brown meat drippings at bottom of pan.

8 Remove from heat and swirl in: 2 tablespoons butter.

PRESENTATION
Strain the sauce over the steak (or don’t strain it if you want the loose bits of pepper too) and garnish with watercress.

VERDICT
My go-to steak recipe at the moment. It’s simply, hugely flavoursome (the aroma of the searing black pepper is quite something) and truly honours the produce – with my choice cut being fillet. You also get quite alot of sauce out of this, which you can keep refrigerated for 2 days.

Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak)

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Hôtel de la Poste’s Steak Chevillot | Four steps to steak heaven

Steak Chevillot: A Treasury of Great RecipesIn my quest to try out all the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, here’s a look at Hôtel’s de la Poste’s Steak Chevillot.

‘At the heart of one of the richest wine-growing regions of Burgundy is the medieval city of Beaune. Here, every autumn after the grape harvest, a famous wine auction is held in the courtyard of the ancient hospital for the poor. The Hospices de Beaune has been housing the poor for more than 500 years on the proceeds of the great vineyards which it owns. It also owns a fine painting by Roger van der Weyden, among other treasures, and this handsome Gothic building remains one of the unfor- getable pleasures of our visit to Beaune. The other is the Hôtel de la Poste. I would trade you every chromium plated motel in the United States for one such French inn. This one stands on the Street of the Cask-Makers after all, wine Beaune’s chief industry It’s present owner and chef, Marc Chevillot, is the grandson of the founder the hotel. Like his grandfather and his father before him, young Chevillot is a wine dealer as well as a gifted chef. He started as a kitchen apprentice in his father’s kitchen, and later was employed by the incom parable Fernand Point at La Pyramide. When you sit down to a meal at the Hôtel de la Poste, what you get is a distillation of a long tradition of fine wines food, and the realization that great cooking doesn’t just come about overnight. Out of respect for our amateur standing, however, M. gave us some recipes which are excellent without being at all difficult to follow – one of which is Steak Chevillot ’ VINCENT PRICE

STEAK CHEVILLOT

INGREDIENTS
Butter
fillets of beef
shallots
red Burgundy
flour
marrow bones (optional)

‘The French prefer their steaks small and sautéed in a rather than large and broiled as we usually prepare them here. For four people or fewer this steak, Chef Chevillot prepares and we find it a perfect chafing dish recipe’ VINCENT PRICE

STEAK
In skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and in it cook over high heat 4 fillets of beef, each 1 ½ inches thick, for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and done to taste. Remove fillets to warm serving platter and keep warm. Drain fat from skillet and return skillet to moderate heat.

SAUCE
1) Add: ½ tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon minced shallots and cook for 30 seconds.

2) Add: ½ cup Burgundy and cook until wine is reduced to about half its quantity.

3) Stir in: 1 teaspoon flour and mixed to a smooth paste with 1 teaspoon butter and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

4) Swirl in: 1 tablespoon butter and when butter is melted, add: 2 tablespoons Burgundy.

PRESENTATION
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce over each fillet, and serve immediately. If desired, top each fillet with a slice of poached beef marrow.

MY VERDICT
Four easy steps to steak heaven. And here’s the result…

Steak Chevillot

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The Whitehall Club’s Steak Diane | The 1970s classic that needs no reinvention

The Whitehall Club, ChicagoMy latest adventure trying out the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes led me to a 1970s classic, Steak Diane, and this one comes from Chicago’s The Whitehall Club.

A Treasury of Great Recipes‘Chicago has been a long time living down the label pinned on it by Carl Sandburg-“Hog Butcher for the World.” The stockyards aren’t what they used to be, but meats and steaks are still superlative in this town, and a new dimension has been added gastronomically. There are now many wonderful restaurants here with fantastically varied cuisines, a few of them so popular that they have become private clubs in order to limit the crowds The best, I would say, is The Whitehall Club, one of the few American taurants ever mentioned in that Who’s Who of French gastron Guide Michelin. Elegantly paneled, and decorated with an antique wallpaper like the one used in Sacher’s in Vienna, the room manages to seem private and intimate even when it is jammed. The host-owners are the Keller brothers, Sidney and Will, men of many enterprises, but with none so close to their hearts as this excellent eating club. They and their staff not only love good food, they love sharing its secrets with other interested gastronomes Aside from some marvelous recipes, the Whitehall staff also gave me a few good cooking tips, which I happily pass on to you. Their chef’s big secret is to use shallots in everything requiring garlic or onion, except for salad. Don’t overdo any flavor use herbs and spices sparingly to let the flavor of the original food come through. And don’t overcook or again you will lose the flavor of the original Their recipe for good co Two cups care, one heaping teaspoonful of imagination and generous dashes of subtle Result? Some of the most delicious food we’ve ever eaten anywhere.’ VINCENT PRICE

Steak DianeSteak Diane

INGREDIENTS
sirloin steaks
butter
shallots
Worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper
parsley

‘Usually in Chicago you are brought enormous, thick steaks that all but come to the table wearing the blue ribbon of the steer that they were part of. So for a change it was pleasant to be served a steak that had been pounded thin and was cooked quickly at the table in a chafing dish. The Whitehall Club’s maitre d’hôtel did the steaks and their sauce so deftly and rapidly, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it myself. It really does go 1-2-3, and tastes marvelous.’ VINCENT PRICE

1 Put: 4 sirloin steaks, each about 6 ounces, between pieces of waxed paper and pound to a 1/3-inch thickness.

2 Heat in small saucepan: 2 tablespoons butter.

3 Add: 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots and cook until shallots are lightly browned. Add: 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and heat to bubbling. Keep the sauce hot.

4 Heat in 12-inch skillet or chafing dish: 6 tablespoons butter. When it begins to brown, add steaks and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until done to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.

PRESENTATION
Spread the shallot sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

MY VERDICT
Again, this is a very simple dish and one you can master after a few tries, but it does require a good cut of beef, like a fillet. I tried it with rib eye and it came out chewy the first time. Also, you need to get the balance right with the Worcestershire and butter, as it can come out a tad vinegary. Oh, and the perfect song for this dish just has to be Fleetwood Mac’s Oh, Diane:

Steak Diane

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Steak Moutarde Flambé | A true classic from Copenhagen’s famed Belle Terrasse

Belle Terrasse TivoliA juicy steak is one of life’s greatest pleasures (unless you’re vegan – and there’s nothing wrong with being vegan). But it’s also a bugger to get right. My mother (bless her) always turned them into leather straps or stewed them to bland tastelessness, so I’m always looking for the perfect steak recipe: and one that honours the meat.

So my challenge is to explore all of the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s acclaimed tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes. There are 10, but I won’t be trying the three Tartar ones as they are far to rare for me. This recipe comes from the Belle Terrasse in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens (alas now closed).

Belle Terrasse, Tivoli, CopenhagenSteak Moutarde Flambé
‘We are inclined to think that nowhere else in the world is there beef the equal of ours. But in Denmark the beef raised on their rich farm and grazing lands is superlative, their dairy products without peer. In this recipe, rich Danish beef is prepared with a mustard sauce that utilizes the thick, heavy cream-both sweet and sour-for which the country is famous. By flaming the beef with cognac, all of the juices and flavorings are sealed into the meat, and all the wonderful brownings in the pan are loosened to become part of the sauce. At Belle Terrasse these steaks were served with French fried potatoes and a cool, crisp salad. An unbeatable combination.’ VINCENT PRICE

Ingredients
beef fillet
butter
salt, pepper
rosemary
sage
cognac
Dijon mustard
mild mustard
sour cream
cream
rose paprika

1) In skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter, saute over high heat: 4 fillets of beef, 1/2 inches thick, for 4 minutes. Turn and sprinkle with: salt, coarsely sage ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon crumbled sage leaves. Cook to desired degree of doneness (4 to 5 minutes per side for rare).

2) Pour off excess fat from pan and cream sprinkle fillets with: 1/4 cup cognac. Ignite the cognac and when the flame burns out, transfer fillets to a warm serving platter and keep warm.

3) To skillet add: 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 4 teaspoons mild brown or
herb-flavored mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon rose paprika. Combine: 2 tablespoons commercial sour cream and 1/2 cup cream and stir into mustard in skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the fillets and serve.

Steak Moutarde Flambé

MY VERDICT
Simply delicious: and I think it’s the herbs that really lifts the dish; plus I love mustard so the sauce is a winner. I’ve also tried using just the sour cream, and replaced the cognac with the less expensive French Brandy, and works a treat. Oh, I just love the kitchen theatre ingniting the spirit. But watch out you don’t singe anything. There’s also that sense of satisfaction that you have just knocked up a restaurant-quality dish at a fraction of the price – but don’t scrimp on the beef. Get it organic and use the best cut: fillet.

Steak Moutarde FlambéSteak Moutarde FlambéSteak Moutarde Flambé

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Pollo Alla Cacciatora | A simple, delicious supper dish from Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes

A Treasury of Great RecipesVincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes is packed with amazing dishes from around the globe, but the one I return to time again is a recipe for Pollo Alla Cacciatora (Chicken Hunter’s Style with Noodles), which they picked up from the famed Royal Danieli luxury hotel in Venice, Italy.

It’s amazingly simple to prepare, using the kind of ingredients that are always plentiful in my kitchen, and it tastes delicious (and at a fraction of the cost of what it probably goes for at the Danieli).

Now, the recipe does call for noodles, but as pasta is never served together with a dish like this, I usually opt for steamed rice. It also recommends using polenta, which I had never tried before – but the results (after a fun and tasty trial) speak for themselves. Check out the photo and recipe below. In the meantime, happy cooking…

Pollo Alla Cacciatora (Chicken Hunter’s Style with Noodles)

SERVES 6
chickens
olive oil
butter
onions
Green pepper
garlic
dried basil
stewed t0matoes
noodles

‘Every little Italian restaurant in the United States features its “chicken cacciatora,” but it is far from being the most popular, or even the most typical, dish in Italy. At the Royal Danieli this chicken in its spicy sauce is served with noodles, as in this recipe, or with polenta, cornmeal mush, that has been cut into slices and fried in olive oil. It’s good either way. The real secret of this recipe’s excellence is the red wine added for the last bit of cooking. That’s the master touch.’ VINCENT PRICE

1 Saute: 2 chickens, about 3 pounds cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stir- each, cut into serving portions, in 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 cup butter for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.

2 Add: 2 cups finely chopped onion, 1 green pepper, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onion is transparent.

3 Add: 1 cup stewed tomatoes and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, cover, and ring occasionally.

4 Add: 1/2 cup dry red wine and simmer for 10 minutes longer.

5 While the chicken is cooking, cook: 8 ounces noodles in a pot of rapidly
boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain.

PRESENTATION
Serve the chicken and sauce over the hot cooked noodles, or better yet, with slices of fried polenta (see below for recipe).

POLLO ALIA CACCIATORA (Chicken Hunter s Style with Noodles)Fried Polenta Slices

Ingredients
1 quart water
1 cup polenta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for frying
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for frying

How to Make It
Step 1: Lightly oil a 6-by-10-inch glass or ceramic dish.

Step 2: Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Cover and cook over low heat, whisking often, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Stir in the butter and cheese, season with salt and pepper and, while hot, pour into the dish. Let stand until room temperature and firm, about 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4: Cut the polenta into 1-inch-thick slices. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter in olive oil. Fry the polenta slices over moderate heat until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes per side. And you should get something resembling this…

 

 

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Silver Screen Suppers on… Cooking with Vincent Price

Recipe Corner

As well being an accomplished actor and an art expert and lecturer, Vincent Price was also passionate about food. As his daughter Victoria says in her lectures on her dad, ‘He loved to eat’.

PriceJacket.indd

Along with his second wife, Mary (Victoria’s mum), Vincent published the acclaimed gourmet tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes, in 1965, which brought together recipes collected from the kitchens of 35 American restaurants (including the Four Seasons, Galatoire’s and Locke-Ober) and eight European countries, plus several dozen of the Price’s own unpretentious favourites, including two for hot dogs. This glorious tome got a sumptuous reprint in 2015 by Dover Press.

ComeIn 1969, the couple also released their Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book, which was devoted to the heritage of American cuisine, from the early pioneer settlers to the Victorian era. This was reprinted many times, with different covers, as well as in a five-volume series which was retitled A National Treasury of Cookery.

Cooking Price Wise

In the six-part 1971 Thames TV series Cooking Price-Wise, Vincent invited viewers to ‘travel round the word using your cooker instead of a jet plane’, and shared his experiences of international cuisine, preparing such delicacies as Moroccan tajine, the American Ice Box Cake and Fish Fillets Noord Zee. These recipes and a host more were published in a paperback that is much sought-after today.

This page is dedicated to Vincent’s favourite recipes and is hosted by Jenny Hammerton, who runs the Silver Screen Suppers website. Just click on the recipe title, where you will be taken to the host page.

Vincent Price’s Bounty of Paradise Party: Sampling the delights from Vincent’s International Cooking Course LP
Cooking Price-Wise – Fish Fillets Noord Zee: Try Vincent’s Dutch delicacy


All around the world, people love eating and drinking like Vincent Price, here’s a round up of links to other blog posts that celebrate Vincent’s favourite recipes.

Treasury • An appreciation of Vincent’s food writing by Kimberly Lindbergs – In the Kitchen With Vincent Price http://moviemorlocks.com/2013/10/24/in-the-kitchen-with-vincent-price/ – includes the recipe for Souffle Pudding Pierre.

• Dr Bobb made Pineapple Nut Loaf and Poularde Pavillon (Chicken in Champagne Sauce) even crushing the mushrooms with a rolling pin as directed by Vincent – http://dbkitschen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/vincent-price-treasury-cookalong.html

A Slash and Dine Toast to Vincent Price includes the recipe and photographs of the Dark Mocha Cake made by Nicole and Megan – it looks delicious! http://www.brutalashell.com/2011/05/a-slash-dine-toast-to-vincent-price/

• Greg Swenson, author of the Recipes For Rebels James Dean cookbook wrote a great piece about Vincent’s love of Sardi’s restaurant and his post includes the recipe for Cheese Knots – http://www.recipes4rebels.com/?page_id=1031

Granny Pantries had a go at the Blueberry Muffins A La Postada and suggested adding a little vanilla to the recipe – http://granniepantries.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/cooking-with-vincent-price.html

• Over at the Vincent Price Mania blog, two recipes were sampled. First, an all time top favourite in the Silver Screen Suppers Kitchen, Mexican Creamed Corn – https://vincentpricemania.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/the-treasury-cookalong-vincent-prices-mexican-creamed-corn/ Plus one I haven’t tried yet, Old Fashioned Bread Pudding – https://vincentpricemania.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mary-and-vincent-prices-old-fashioned-bread-pudding/

• The lovely Annie at Kitchen Counter Culture turned to her battered and much loved Treasury for the Gateau Grand Marnier recipe – https://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/gat/

• Lauren from The Past On a Plate made Blueberry Muffins A La Postada and Ranch Eggs – what a lovely brunch! http://www.thepastonaplate.com/2015/11/brunch-with-vincent-price.html

• Miriam Figueras bravely tackled Souffle Au Grand Marnier with excellent results – http://cinemagratia.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/vincent-price-treasury-cookalong.html

• Yinzerella from the superlative Dinner Is Served 1972 blog made Vincent Price’s Bloody Mary & Bookbinder’s Snapper Souphttps://dinnerisserved1972.com/2015/11/06/vincent-prices-bloody-mary-bookbinders-snapper-soup/

• Tracy of Tracy’s Vintage Corner made a delicious-looking Old Fashioned Bread Puddinghttps://tracysvintagecorner.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/20151023_153102-copy.jpg

• Super stylish blogger Ruth, from Mid-Century Menu made something I’ve wanted to try for ages, Crab Puffs – http://www.midcenturymenu.com/2015/11/crab-puffs-vincent-price-treasury-cookalong/

• In Canada, Lisa from Brain Meets Keys put together a spectacular brunch, trying out three recipes from the Treasury in one go! Blueberry Muffins a la Posada, Buckingham Eggs and Champignons Marie-Victoire http://www.brainmeetskeys.com/2015/11/vincent-pricetreasury-of-recipes50th.html

• Battenburg Belle took the Treasury all the way to France and made Caesar Salad, Sea Bream Biscay Style and Petits Pois a la Francaisehttp://www.battenburgbelle.com/another-day-another-cookalong/

• Taryn from Retro Food for Modern Times made Chicken in Champagne Sauce – http://retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/07/vincent-prices-chicken-in-champagne-sauce/ and Buckingham Eggs as a JAFFLE – http://retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/04/vincent-prices-buckingham-eggs-jaffle/


Cooking Price Wise_Ad_TVT_crop

• Nathalie Morris from the British Film Institute and yours truly demonstrate how to make Vincent Price Goulash

 


DISHES AND DRINKS FROM ADVERTISEMENTS FEATURING VINCENT’S RECOMMENDATIONS…

• Clara from Heritage Recipe Box rustled up a New Fashioned Cocktail https://heritagerecipebox.com/2015/11/01/nothing-scary-in-vincent-prices-cocktail/

 

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Sateh Babi | A touch of Indonesia from A Treasury of Great Recipes

In our ongoing test of tasty recipes from the cookbooks of Vincent Price, here’s a great summer BBQ treat, Sateh Babi (Skewered Pork), from the original Bali Restaurant in Amsterdam.

The BaliThe Bali restaurant in Amsterdam was famed for bring Indonesian cookery to the Netherlands, and this skewered pork recipe comes from that now closed establishment, and makes excellent use of the Javanese soy sauce ketjap benteng (although ketjap manis is a fine substitute). Best served with steamed rice and other rijsttafel (rice tables) dishes.

sateINGREDIENTS
Pork
Java soy sauce
Salt, pepper
Sugar
Cooking oil

METHOD
Cut: 1 pound lean tender pork into small cubes. Marinate the meat in: 1.3 cup Java soy sauce (ketjap benteng or ketjap manis) with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ tablespoon sugar for several hours, or overnight. The longer the better.

When ready to cook, thread the meat on short sticks, using about 4 cubes on each stick. Brush with cooking oil and broil 2/12 inches from heat for 20 minutes, turning frequently and basting with cooking oil.

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Pork Cutlets Escorial | Eat like a Spanish king with this classic dish from A Treasury of Great Recipes

PorK Cutlets Escorial | A Treasury of Great RecipesOn one of the sunny days that hit London recently, I got the chance to dine al fresco in the back garden. It was the perfect time to dip into Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes for inspiration as to what to do with a number of pork shoulder medallions – and there I found Pork Cutlets Escorial.

This dish is tremendous, as is the Escorial’, wrote Vincent about the pork cutlet recipe that he got from a chef at the Palace Hotel in Madrid, which is named after Philip II’s ‘gloomy old palace and monastery’ – just the sort of place that would suit our favourite Gothic horror star.

799px-VistaescorialThis dish is incredibly easy to make, and the fusion of olives, cream and Brown sauce was winner. I did, however, leave out the glacéed chestnut (aka Marrons glacés) as they were out of season.

The recipe also calls for Mustard Fruits, which originated in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy and are made from unripe fruit preserved in a syrup that has been combined with mustard oil. As I didn’t have any, I substituted it with some homemade chutney that I had lurking in the back of a cupboard and it worked a treat.

INGREDIENTS
Pork cutlets
Dijon mustard
Salt, pepper
Butter
Flour
Mustard fruits
Dry white wine
Cream brown sauce
Large stuffed olives
Glacéed chestnuts

PORK CUTLETS
1 Rub: 4 pork cutlets with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard each, and sprinkle with a little salt and some ground pepper.
2 In a skillet heat: 2 tablespoons butter in it sauté the pork cutlets for 5 minutes on each side, or until brown. Reduce heat and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Transfer cutlets to warm dish and keep warm.

PorK Cutlets Escorial | A Treasury of Great Recipes

SAUCE
1 Discard all but 1-tablespoon drippings in pan.
2 Add to pan: 1-tablespoon flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3 Add: 1 cup dry white wine, bring to rapid boil and boil briskly, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
4 Stir in: ½ cup cream, 3 tablespoons brown sauce [I used HP Sauce], 8 large stuffed olives, finely chopped, and 4 glacéed chestnuts.
5 Return pork cutlets to sauce and simmer for 3 minutes.
6 In a small pan heat: 6 tablespoons finely chopped mustard fruits in their syrup.

PRESENTATION
Transfer cutlets to warm serving dish, cover with sauce and top each cutlets with a glacéed chestnut. Drain the chopped mustard fruits and sprinkle on top.

 

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