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Recipe Suggestions: Pork, Bourbon, Cherries


Waitman
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So, picked up some pork chops at the market yesterday and my friend said, "so, you can have B and me over for dinner tomorrow and serve them with the cherries." I was touched by her confidence but momentarily clueless regarding the pairing. I'd pictured something tomatilla salsa-ish, maybe a lime marinade, but whatever.

So when I got back from practice this morning I noticed that my kid had left a bottle of Jim Beam lying around and so in the shower it occurred to me that reduced bourbon with cherries, brown sugar, maybe some chicken stock or fake balsamic and some brown sugar might be pretty tasty -- especially if there was some vaguely complementary rub to apply -- and (given my larder this week) pretentiously locavore-ish, not that it's that kind of crowd.

And then, my second best idea of the day was to toss this out for tweaks, adjustments, heartfelt criticism or subtle variations and than take credit for any and all improvements you suggest, since no one eating tonight is on DR.com.

Also, more complicated, one of the diners may be a communist vegetarian and I'm wondering if there's some egg thing-y that might match custardy with sweet like those weird sushi rolls you get sometimes. Maybe a savory baby souffle with shallots slow cooked to sweet and then the whole thing slathered with cherry/bourbon jam. I don't know. Maybe she can just eat the cheese course.

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So, picked up some pork chops at the market yesterday...

Have you considered something in the way of chutney (a bit like the salsa direction you were going)? I would just reduce the hell out of them with the bourbon until they're a mildly chunky compote, then maybe use some curry-ish or winter spices, adding sugar and salt as needed. A Provencal direction would also work, with rosemary, lavender, thyme, maybe even a bit of orange zest (which would play well with the bourbon). When I think of pork and cherries I think of a stuffed loin, which is often done with apricot but would work with cherries very well. Maybe making a "stuffing" for the chops and serving on the side would also be an option.

(Very sorry to have missed your party, BTW).

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I'm not familiar with those sushi rolls, but would cherry clafoutti fit the bill? Perhaps served with a nice finishing balsamic.


Are your cherries sour/pie or bing?


I love fruit with pork and the first thing I think of is what you're thinking of-- a shallot, cherry, port/insert booziness of your liking reduction with chicken stock, balsamic and fresh thyme.


Just s+p on the pork with a nice sear. The jus gets added to the reduction to pull the two together.


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For the vegetarian you could adapt the sauce to a sort of modern twist on a traditional Ottoman dish -- grape leaves stuffed with rice and cherries. You could stuff the leaves with some rice (or any grain), some of the sauce, and then sprinkle some feta on top. I had something similar in Istanbul (without the Jim Beam, but it might add some interesting character).

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Great ideas -- given the limited time before dinner and the lack grape leaves at the local bodega, I worked along the lines of Banco's suggestions only the real "Indian" part of the spicing arose from a jar of Tandoori seasoning or something equally authentically sub-continental that I used as a dry rub. The sushi I was thinking of is Tomago sushi, though one place or another uses similar ingredients in futomaki, which is what I was picturing as I was typing.

Ultimately, I sauteed some shallots, reduced a bunch of Jim Beam, pitted some (sweet cherries) and threw them in, added chicken stock, balsamic and brown sugar, and then cooked it until it tasted OK. The vegetarian got leftover white gazpacho. Pretty delish.

Thanks, all.

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