Saturday, November 20, 2010

Which wine with pork chop?

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.

The potatoes:

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.

Lifting a blog entry without the author's permission (and without recompense) is a copyright infringement--period.


  1. Most often I drink either German riesling or red Burgundy with pork chops. But in this case, it seems you're eliminating the pork chop flavor, so a non-over-the-top Italian sangiovese seems in order.

    Oh, btw, "If you are reading this entry anywhere other than on the vinofictions blog, be aware that it has been lifted without my permission (and without recompense), and that’s a copyright infringement, no matter that the copyright information appears with it." - I read this post in Google Reader. I think you should perhaps update or eliminate this text...?

  2. Krak,

    When I recently made this dish, I paired it with a cool climate Cabernet Franc--did well together.

    That text is there because twice commercial sites that trawl blogs picked up my entries and ran them to support their advertisers. When they trawl, they pick up the whole entry and so they pick up the copyright notice too. I've had to get the sites to stop with legal threats.

    Make my living with words--can't have it cheapened that way. But I'll update the text, to shorten it. You've given me an idea.

  3. I'm going with a Crianza Rioja -- and not just because I've got a bunch of it down in the basement.

  4. Tom,

    Crianza would work too. Just too many wines and not enough pork chops.

  5. I'm going with a Cab/Grenache blend, a Cabernache (don't laugh), which I had recently with pork and it was delicious.

  6. Did the producer name the wine a Cabernache? Shame, shame.

    Anyway, that wouldn't be a bad blend--for Priorat!

  7. It was a perfectly acceptable union, but unfortunately it was called Cabernache...I very much doubt that the producers have had the Spanish version