Plummy Pork

25 Aug

When I was at the Union Square Market with Mike, I saw mini plums and couldn’t resist. I used to get them at the Farmer’s Market in Ithaca, and they were some of the best fruit I had ever had. These were good, but not that good.

When trying to determine what to make for dinner on Sunday, Mike suggested making a plum sauce. A quick google later, and we found a recipe that sounded very good without the use of fats. We supplemented the mini plums with pluots (half plums, half apricots) to make for enough substance in the sauce. The recipe was a bit hard to figure out, however, we took some liberties and the recipe turned out incredibly well. The pork was tender and the plum sauce was tart and sweet and tasted incredible. It was quite pretty in color and when you cut it open, and the wine it was cooked in really brought out a great flavor in the fruit. I’d put it in the top five of the recipes we’ve made.  And I think it was pretty healthy!

I actually didn’t have cooking string to tie up the pork to wrap it, however, I did have some wire. I was concerned that the wire would do something funny, so we made a backup version of just the pounded pork with the fruit on top. The wrapped pork in wire wound up working, and the flattened ones were a bit drier, so I recommend the wrapping.

We paired the pork with brown basmati rice mixed simply with mushrooms as well as artichokes we bought for the sole purpose of using the artichoke cookers I got for my birthday from my friend and old college roommate, Kim (she also got me my very own NYC Nom Nom apron, that is adorable and awesome). They are very smart with a stand that allows the artichokes to steam upright. Unfortunately the artichokes we got were too big and didn’t have the flavor that they should have. The stems were also too woody. I look forward to trying the cookers again with regular artichokes.

Artichokes steaming:

Cooking down the plum sauce that goes on top:

Cooking the cherries in the wine (apples were added later):

Browning the wrapped pork in shallots:

Putting the pounded flat pork in the dish with fruit on top:

Browned rolled pork wrapped with wire:

A finished archie:

The finished plate:

Cut open rolled pork:

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Pork with Plum Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • ½ green apple, diced
  • 3 Tbl. sugar
  • Red wine (I’m sure good wine would be better, but we used “Four Buck Chuck” aka Charles Shaw, and it was still fabulous)
  • 8 ripe black plums (or red, or pluots, which is what we used)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Pork chops, pounded thin
  • Shallots
  • High heat PAM

Directions:

  1. In saucepan, mix 1/3 cup of wine with 2-3 Tbl. of sugar until sweet to the taste. Add dried cherries and put over low heat. You don’t want to cook them, you just want to reconstitute them. Add apples to soften (I just let this cook on very low heat until I was ready for the next step)
  2. Cut the plums into a separate sauce pan. You don’t have to peel them. Recipe said to just cut chunks the size of your thumb off until you’re down to the pit. Add wine to a depth of about 1 inch. Add enough sugar that the wine is sweet to the taste (though not too sweet). Add salt and lemon juice. Cook over a medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the plums soften, about 40 minutes. Mixture should be thick like applesauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°
  4. In the meantime, place cooking string or wire under each thinly pounded pork chop so you will be able to roll and tie it up, about 1.5 to 2 inches apart (I used 3 per chop). Spoon the cherry/apple mixture into the pork and then roll up the sides and tie up. (You can also stuff a pork loin if you prefer)
  5. Brown shallots in a pan and then brown all sides of the pork (use tongs to rotate)
  6. Spray casserole dish with PAM high heat spray. Place pork in the baking dish. Cook at 325° until done, about 50 min. Set pork on platter to rest.
  7. Pour pan juices into the plum sauce and boil 1 minute (I guess I cooked too long since there were no juices and just some solidified stickiness on the bottom, but it still tasted great).
  8. Untie/cut/untwist wire/ties and either serve as a roll or slice the pork into 1/2 inch slices to reveal the center. Serve with plum sauce over the top.

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