Fratelli Perata Winery

Pork Chops with Cherried Vegetables

Fresh cherries hand-picked in the summer were often placed in canning jars, topped with brandy and set in the back of the refrigerator until December. These flavor bombs were great eating right from the jar, or even when used in actual recipes. Here's a variation from our pork tenderloin/cherry recipe. It is quick to prepare, especially if you don't mind using an extra pan. And don't worry if you don't have the cherries in the 'fridge; dried cherries simmered in red wine will substitute just fine.

In this recipe, the chop is the centerpiece, with a rough sauce as a complement. Cabbage is used for a layer of flavor, more than as a vegetable.

4 center pork chops
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
1 apple, peeled, diced
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup cherries, see note
1/4 cup red wine

Note: if using dried cherries: in a small saucepan combine cherries, 1/2 cup red wine, and allspice. Simmer over medium low heat until cherries are softened and most of the liquid is absorbed. If for some reason you don't have wine for this, use apple juice. If using "pickled" cherries, drain and be sure there are no pits.

In a large skillet, add olive oil and onion. Sauté until onion is just softened. Add cabbage and apple; cook until all are very, very soft, but not browned. Add allspice, cherries, and wine. Stir until warmed. Set on lowest heat while the pork chops are cooked.

In another skillet on high heat, quickly sauté pork chops in olive oil on both sides until done (165 on a meat thermometer is safe. As always, more or less to your taste). Set on platter. Add sauce to pork chop skillet and stir to incorporate the flavors. Sauce should be on the thick side. Scoop over pork chops and serve hot.

This is an excellent pairing with the 2002 Merlot, Wine Club Special Selection.