François-Marie Arouet(1694-1778), known also as Voltaire, French writer and philosopher. In his many works he expressed his idea of freedom of expression and religion. He also supported the separation of church and state. In his philosophical novel,Candide or The Optimiste, he combined the vision of Edenic paradise with Leibnizian optimism and also... some elements of gastronomy:
Master Pangloss taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology. He could prove to admiration that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron's castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and My Lady the best of all possible baronesses.
"It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best."
Candide listened attentively and believed implicitly, for he thought Miss Cunegund excessively handsome, though he never had the courage to tell her so. He concluded that next to the happiness of being Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, the next was that of being Miss Cunegund, the next that of seeing her every day, and the last that of hearing the doctrine of Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world.
Voltaire, "Candide or The Optimiste"
Total Time: 1h 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 1 h
Yield: 6 servings
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 1 h
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 pound boneless pork loin
- 4 medium carrots cut into 1 inch sections
- 1 medium onion, sliced into half-moons
- 10 oz fresh white mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 1 can (8 oz) pineapple slices or cubes
- 1 tbs crème fraîche
- 1 cup Riesling
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbs all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Remove membranes and large chunk of fat from meat. Tender pork with the fork.
- Cut pork into 1/2 slices and then each slice into 1/4 inch stripes.
- Flour meat before browning.
- Put a pan over high heat and add oil. When the pan and oil are both hot, turn the heat down to medium.
- Add a single layer pork stripes and cook until lightly brown on all sides.
- A sticky dark glaze will start to form in the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the meat from the pan to a hot plate. Keep warm.
- Pour wine into the pan. The wine will bubble and steam.
- Scrap the sticky fond from the bottom of the pan; the wine will dissolve the glaze easily.
- Continue scraping and stirring until the wine has reduced and thicken slightly.
- Add onion and carrots into the wine reduction and cook them about 5 minutes.
- Clean and cut into quarters mushrooms; add them into the wine reduction.
- Return the meat into the pan and add water. Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Reduce the heat. Make sure the meat stays at a low simmer.
- Cover and cook the meat and the vegetables slowly for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Cut pineapple slices.
- Combine pineapple pieces and juice into the meat ragoût.
- Keep cooking additional 15 minutes.
- In a bowl combine well Dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Mix them well together.
- Add 4 tbs of the hot sauce from the pan into the crème fraîche and Dijon mustard to prevent curdling.
- Add slowly the crème fraîche mixture into the meat stirring all the time.
- If necessary, salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately with rice.