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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Perfect for Pinot: Pork with Cherry Sauce

It’s Wednesday night and Pork with Cherry Sauce (pg. 166) is on the menu. Doesn’t it just sound like a perfect dish for Fall? Bone-in, pork loin chops with a delicious sauce of balsamic vinegar and cherries – yummy! Even though we are still struggling with 90 degree temperatures I decided to forge ahead and make it anyway.
While the recipe sounded a little daunting at first, it’s actually pretty easy. The only things I needed to pick up at the store were the pork chops and dried cherries – love that! In fact, you probably have all the other required ingredients in your pantry right now: balsamic vinegar, olive oil and chicken broth. This recipe does take slightly longer to make than some of the others I've made because you need to remove the bones from the chops and use them to make the base for the sauce. The results are definitely worth the effort though. My only issue regarding the prep for the chops is, when removing the bones, I was left with 2 pieces of meat – the bigger, longer piece and the smaller, round piece. I didn’t see any way to keep the two pieces intact and was just a little perplexed as to how to serve it. It would definitely not prevent me from making it again, however. I kept the meal on the lighter side by serving it with haricorts verts – those lovely, French green beans and the two went beautifully together. A simple, elegant weeknight meal!
As for the beverage, this dish just begs for a Pinot Noir with lots of ripe, cherry flavors. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! A New World Pinot would generally be a better choice than an Old World one like a Burgundy. New World wines are generally more “fruit forward,” meaning the flavors of the fruit are more pronounced and readily perceptible which might be more desirable with the pork and cherry sauce. A New Zealand Pinot Noir would be a great choice and a good value as well. If you wanted to kick it up a notch, try one from the Sonoma Coast appellation in California or the Willamette Valley in Oregon. These two areas are very well known for their Pinots and the wines may be a bit more pricey, not to say good deals can’t be found however. I’d love to hear about your favorite selections as well – let me know!
We attended an "Industry Style" wine tasting this weekend at 32 East here in Delray Beach and there were many delicious Pinot Noirs to choose from: think “kid” and “candy store”! A few favorite Pinot Noirs in particular included the Talley Arroyo Grande Valley, the David Bruce Russian River Valley and the Martinelli Belle Vigna. Definitely worth seeking out! So pick a perfect Pinot and put the Pork with Cherry Sauce on the calendar this week. You will not be disappointed!

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