Roasted pork with mushroom sauce

A fall classic to keep stomachs and ovens warm

Photo: Tine Mediebank Christin Drake’s roasted pork and mushroom sauce will help you find your own Lost Norwegian.

Photo: Tine Mediebank
Christin Drake’s roasted pork and mushroom sauce will help you find your own Lost Norwegian.

Melinda Bargreen
Everett, Wash.

The arrival of fall sends us Norwegian-Americans in quest of warmer outfits, winter boots, toasty handknits in Scandinavian patterns—and recipe books. It’s time for many of us to gravitate toward savory, substantial meals that keep the home fires (or at least the ovens) warm.

Over the years, the pile of Norwegian-accented cookbooks at our house has assumed alarming proportions, but one thing’s for sure: we’re never running short of recipes.

One of the more intriguing cookbooks I’ve collected is The Lost Norwegian, by Christin Drake, and it’s her recipe for Skinke Stek (also known as roasted pork with mushroom sauce) that we will feature here. (The cookbook, with beautiful color plates, was published in 1991 by Northland Publishing, and it is available on at:

Christin Drake has a most interesting history. A native of Oslo, she lived for several years in Greece, where she met her American husband. They later moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, where she opened The Lost Norwegian Restaurant in an old Victorian house. Several years ago, when she closed the restaurant, she wrote the cookbook, which contains an assortment of recipes from all over Scandinavia, as well as the other places Drake has lived.

Here’s the recipe (slightly adapted by this writer) for the roasted pork with mushroom sauce, a great treat on a chilly day.

Roasted pork
5-lb. boneless pork roast (with fat on top)
2 cups water
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325. With sharp knife, cut squares into the fat on top of the roast. Rub roast with salt and pepper; place in roasting pan with 2 cups of water, and cook for 2 1/2 – 3 hours (you may need to add more water as some of it evaporates).

While roast is cooking, prepare mushroom sauce.

Serves eight.

Mushroom sauce
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsps butter (plus 2 more tbsps for sautéing the mushrooms)
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups roast drippings
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauté pan or saucepan, sauté mushrooms over medium heat (with 2 tablespoons butter). Remove the mushrooms and liquid from the saucepan and set aside in a bowl.

In the same pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat, and add flour; whisk together while slowly adding pan drippings. Add wine, soy sauce, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.

Combine sauce and mushrooms in the same pan and heat before serving.

Slice the roast into serving slices, and top each slice with mushroom sauce; pass the remaining mushroom sauce around the table. (Hint: it’s great on potatoes.)

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 7, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Melinda Bargreen

Melinda Bargreen is a Seattle-based writer and composer whose career at The Seattle Times began in 1977. Her choral works include the “Norwegian Folksong Suite.” Melinda contributes to many publications and is the author of Seattle Opera’s forthcoming 50-year history book. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a doctorate in English from the University of California, Irvine.