Friday, August 5, 2011

Pork Chops with Cherry-Port Sauce: sweet-savory perfection

The careful combination of sweet and savory flavors can delight the palate.  Pork chops are braised with port soaked cherries, shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, and a splash of white basalmic vinegar to create a perfect balance of flavor.  Try this for your next special meal - it's sure to impress.


1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
1 cup port
1/2 stick butter, cut into pats
2 large shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4-6 pork chops (approx 1" thick)
sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp white basalmic vinegar


1.  Combine cherries and port in a small bowl. Set aside to soak.

2.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add shallots and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.

3.  Add the pork chops to the skillet and brown on both sides (~2 mins per side).  Remove chops to a plate.

4.  Add the port-cherry mixture and several sprigs of thyme.  Bring sauce to a simmer.

5.  Add the browned pork chops, arranging so they are partially submerged in the sauce.

6.  Reduce heat to med-low and cover, simmering the chops for 15 minutes.

7.  Flip the chops and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

8.  Remove the chops to a plate and cover.

9.  Raise heat to high, add vinegar, and boil to reduce, 5-10 minutes.  Discard the cooked thyme sprigs.

10.  Serve the pork chops with sauce spooned over them.

To make a beautiful presentation, garnish the pork with a sprig of fresh thyme and compliment with a simply steamed green vegetable.  I chose green beans to contrast the fruity, burgundy colored sauce.  Asparagus or snow peas are other good choices.  I paired this with a Bordeaux.  Fruity wines such as Petite Syrah or Chianti would also be excellent pairs.

Life is sweet.  Savor it!

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