If you took a garlicky, buttery mushroom-laden rice pilaf, mixed it with some savory pork, and baked it until there was a perfect mixture of crispy edges and fluffy grains of rice, this is what you’d get. And the getting is good. This simple bake is a meal in and of itself, it takes no pre-cooking or searing, and it is irresistibly flavorful. (In other words, it’s a dream come true in a casserole dish.)
The magic here is in the layering. The white rice is mixed with broth and water before it hunkers down in a baking dish, and then a layer of pork and sliced mushrooms (that have been tossed in garlic and butter and all things delicious) gets spread over the top. The pork and mushroom mixture provides a kind of blanket – a lid if you will -to the rice, and as it cooks all of the flavor from the pork and the buttery mushrooms soaks down into the rice grains below. The rice comes out fluffy and flavorful, but the edges still crisp up so nicely.
One key here is to make sure you don’t slice the mushrooms too thinly. You want them to provide pretty good coverage to the rice below, and you can count on them shrinking up quite a bit as they bake. Luckily, as they shrink and release liquid, that flavor just goes into the delicious broth that runs throughout the whole dish. The succulent pork makes it rather hearty, while the mushrooms add an earthy and rustic note to this quick and simple oven bake.
Pork and Mushroom Rice Bake
- 1 lb pork tenderloin (or other lean pork), cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/4 lbs mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the pork, mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and melted butter.
- In the prepared baking pan, stir together the rice, thyme, chicken broth, and water. Spread evenly across pan.
- Spread mushroom/pork mixture evenly over the top of the rice. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake until mushrooms are golden and pork is cooked through, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Stir everything together, serve, and enjoy!
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats.