Wine writers, reviewers, critics, and bloggers are in the business of telling readers what to drink. Let me try something new and have readers tell me what to drink.
I’ll write out a meal, with recipes, and you pair it with wine. Tell me which wine you’d have with the meal and most of all, tell me why that wine.
First meal: thick cut pork chop in Madeira sauce, with roasted potatoes and sweetly infused Brussels sprouts.
If you can find small new potatoes use them; if not, use the larger ones. The difference will be in how you cut them for the roasting. I like to thinly slice off the top and bottom of a small potato so that it stands flat and it has a plateau surface on which to add the ingredients. If the potatoes are large, I cut each in half and then slice the rounded edges to create the same flattened bottom and plateau on top, but to make the large potatoes small enough for quicker roasting.
While a small toaster oven (or similar unit) heats to 350 degrees F, dribble olive oil over each cut potato then sprinkle winter sage leaves and crushed white pepper over the potatoes so that they stick to the oil. Place in the oven and set for 50 minutes.
After 20 minutes into the potatoes roasting, turn main oven to 350 (I use a convection) and then drop a tablespoon olive oil into a cast iron pan and turn heat to high.
Place pork chop(s) on a meat-cutting surface, sprinkle crushed black pepper on one side and then lightly flour it; turn the chop over and do the same. Then, roll the chop in the rest of the flour that has fallen to the surface.
In the hot iron pan, brown the chop on each side and around its edges and then remove from heat. Immediately deglaze the pan with a ½ cup sweet Madeira and then reduce flame to low.
Place chops into the oven and turn timer to 20 minutes.
Add chopped shallot and garlic clove to the Madeira, plus ½ cup more Madeira and a few dashes of soy sauce. Separately, mix an ounce of Madeira with two teaspoons of flour until it is a thick gooey substance and add to the pan, turn flame to simmer and stir constantly.
Rinse and then cut a cross hatch into each Brussels sprout. Slice a garlic clove and thin carrots. In a sauté pan, over very low heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil, the sprouts, garlic and carrots, plus ¼ cup Madeira and cover to steam.
When the potatoes and chops are done, turn flame up under the Madeira/shallot sauce and stir vigorously until it is less liquid-like and more solid-like.
Check to see that the sprouts and carrots are firm but cooked.
Plate everything and pour the sauce over the chops—garnish with parsley.
Eat with the wine you prefer, but do tell me which one you have chosen.
Copyright Thomas Pellechia
November 2010. All rights reserved.
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