Wine Wednesday: Wine-Braised Pork with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with stock, wine, chestnuts and sweet potatoes until it’s meltingly tender.

 

braidespork

  1. One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder
  2. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  3. Pepper
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 5 parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley for garnish
  9. 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts (3 cups)

Season the pork with the 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all 
of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the pork is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine and parsley and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the pork is just tender, 2 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and chestnuts, cover and cook until the pork and sweet potatoes are very tender, 30 minutes.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a platter. Strain the jus into a bowl and degrease with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.

Slice the pork and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve with the jus.

Make Ahead The braised pork can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône is rich enough to go with this pork and has enough fruit to go with sweet potatoes.

 

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Wine Wednesday: Spicy Korean Grilled Pork

Pounding slices of pork tenderizes the meat, making it thin enough to take on the flavor of the marinade and allowing it to cook fast enough to stay moist.

Bill Kim Spicy Korean Chili Marinated Pork w/Soba Noodles. A120306 Food & Wine Grilling Olympics June 2012

  1. 1 cup Chinese fermented black beans (5 ounces); see Note
  2. 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
  3. One 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang); see Note
  5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  6. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  7. 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  8. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  9. One 3-pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder roast, cut crosswise into twelve 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

Put the fermented black beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the beans.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, garlic and ginger and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chile paste, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar and blend well.

On a work surface, pound the pork slices 1/8 inch thick. Lay one-fourth of the pork slices in a large, shallow dish and coat with one-fourth of the black bean marinade. Repeat with the remaining pork and marinade for three more layers. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, leaving just a thin coating on the meat. Brush the pork with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning every 2 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Chinese fermented black beans and gochujang are available at Asian markets and from amazon.com. Or substitute an equal amount of Chinese black bean sauce or any kind of Asian chile paste.

Serve With

Vegetables or chilled noodles.

Suggested Pairing

Tannins in red wine can intensify the heat in chiles, so for this dish, look for a fruit-forward Grenache-based wine.

Wine Wednesday: Short Rib Stew

I got this from a chef in my neighborhood. I’ve tried it and OMG!! This is sooo rich and amazing.  What chef does the day after (if there is any left) he makes sliders. So…if you try this on Friday night…how about some sliders for the weekend football game?  Hmmmm.  Enjoy!

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3 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups dry red wine

3 cups veal or chicken stock

6 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped

8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Working in batches, cook the short ribs over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Discard the oil.

Return the meat and any juices to the casserole. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, 8 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, 2 hours.

Skim any fat from the stew. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, thyme and sage. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, berry-rich Shiraz. Southern French Reds. Chilean Cabernet Sauvigno or Sangiovese from Tuscany. With the Sliders – any wheat beer goes well.

Wine Wednesday: Red Velvet Molten Lava Valentines Day

I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day.  I mean, I appreciate the thought of the day, but I hate that on this day, men (ok, and some women) make themselves crazy on what “thing” to buy to show their partner how much they love them. COME ON…one day to show love?? What happened to the other 363 days of the year? My relationship now is at the place where I want to exhibit love with someone who loves me….as well as likes me. That makes my heart sing and better than any gift that can be bought.   So create these cakes not just on Valentine’s day but any day.
Happy Valentine’s Day honey….
Lava Cakes
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons red food coloring (I really like the gel colors)
coconut whipped cream, whipped cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)
Ganache
4 1/2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned coconut milk or heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. First make the ganache. In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Once melted stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and place in the fridge.
  2. Grease 6 (4 ounce) ramekins or 4 (6 ounce ramekins) and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat the chocolate and butter together on low in a small saucepan, stirring until just melted. Watch it closely to make sure it does not burn. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and salt until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat the eggs and slowly add the sugar until the eggs are pale in color, about four minutes. Add the vanilla extract and food coloring, mix until combined. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the chocolate into the eggs until just combined. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins.
  5. Now grab your ganache from the fridge and spoon about 1-2 heaping teaspoons of ganache (you will not use it all) right into the center of the ramekins. Use a spoon to scoop the red velvet mixture over the ganache. Cover the ramekins and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After 15 minutes remove from the fridge and place in the oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes (10 minutes for 4 ounce ramekins and 18 minutes for 6 ounce ramekins). Loosen the edges of the cakes with a butter knife and turn out onto plates. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I also added some toasted coconut, shaved chocolate and pomegranate arils.

Most of all, spend it with someone you love…Hopefully they love you as much back!

Wine Wednesday: Flemish Beef Stew

This classic Belgian beef stew is known for its sweet-sour combination of caramelized onions and beer. Any dark Belgian-style ale would be a good choice here. As with most stews, the dish will taste even better a day or two after it’s made.

flemishbeefstew

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 pounds beef flatiron or blade steaks, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, about 3 inches wide

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups thickly sliced onions

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Three 12-ounce cans beer

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Boiled carrots and potatoes, for serving

In an enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add one-third of it to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 2 more batches of meat, using the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Add the onions to the casserole, cover and cook over low heat, stirring, until browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the flour until the onions are well-coated, then slowly add the beer. Return the meat to the casserole along with any accumulated juices. Add the thyme and bay leaves, cover and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the beef is tender, 2 hours.

Uncover and transfer the meat to a bowl. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened slightly. Discard the bay leaves. Return the meat to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with boiled carrots and potatoes.

Make Ahead The carbonnade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Suggested Pairing

This stew is so hearty that it can handle a very tannic red like Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Wine Wednesday: Sausage and Broccoli Rabe with Polenta

Today, let’s get away from all the “meat” and go for something a bit lighter. This sausage and Broccoli Rabe with Polenta is just as filling and another brunch option for those guests that happen to drop by. You can actually make everything the day before (just re-warm gently before you serve) and make the Polenta that day. Enjoy!

sausagebroccoli

1 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems removed

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/3 pounds hot or mild Italian sausage

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from a 14-ounce can)

1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

4 1/2 cups water

1 1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Cut into 2-inch lengths.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine; bring to a simmer. Add the sausage, tomatoes, broth, thyme, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, parsley, and pepper to the sauce; bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

Suggested Paring

A California Chardonnay will ad a mellow, clean finish to your meal.

Wine Wednesday: Moroccan Lamb Stew with Noodles

I remember having something similar when I was in Marrakesh a few years ago. What a flavorful and hardy meal. I hope you enjoy.morrlambstew

Large pinch of saffron threads

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 large red onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

Kosher salt

12 cilantro sprigs, tied in a bundle

Noodles

1 1/2 pounds vermicelli or angel-hair pasta, broken into 3-inch lengths

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing

1/2 cup golden raisins

2/3 cup blanched whole almonds

1/2 cup cold salted water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Salt

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a small skillet, toast the saffron over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Crumble the saffron threads and cover with 2 tablespoons of water.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the lamb, onions, cinnamon sticks, ginger, pepper, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until fragrant, 5 minutes.

Add the cilantro, the saffron water and 2 cups of fresh water to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cover with a round of parchment paper and a lid; simmer, turning the lamb once, until tender, 1 hour.

Transfer the lamb and all but 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a bowl. Discard the cilantro and cinnamon sticks. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the casserole; cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Return the lamb and cooking liquid to the casserole and season with salt. Cover and let stand.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, toss the noodles with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Oil a large steamer insert and set it in a pot. Add enough water to the pot to reach just below the insert; bring to a boil. Add the noodles, cover and steam over moderate heat for 20 minutes, adding more water as necessary.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water and let soak until softened, 10 minutes; drain. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely, then finely chop.

Transfer the noodles to the bowl and toss with the raisins and salted water; return to the steamer insert, cover and steam for 20 minutes longer. Pour the noodles into the water in the pot and boil, stirring, until al dente, 2 minutes. Drain. Return the noodles and raisins to the bowl, add the butter and toss to coat. Season with salt.

Reheat the lamb. Spread half of the noodles in a large serving bowl and cover with the lamb stew. Mound the remaining noodles on top, making a well in the center. Fill the well with 3 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar. In a bowl, combine the remaining confectioners’ sugar with the almonds and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the almond mixture over the noodles and serve.

Suggested Pairing

A Rhône Valley red with ample tannins will help counter this stew’s richness. Try a Côtes du Rhône Rouge or Gigondas.