Recipe from Guest Chef Benjamin Bettinger

We are super excited about a new recipe pairing, crafted by our guest chef Benjamin Bettinger, Executive Chef of Laurelhurst Market Resturant & Butcher Shop in Portland, Oregon! Ben plays up the blueberry nuances in our 2014 Tanager Vineyard Pinot Noir with the following dish.

Blueberry Lacquered Double Cut Pork Chop, Grilled Vegetables
and Pickled Blueberries

Let’s make it…
(Note, one day is needed for prep. for pickled blueberries and brine)

Bone in Pork Chop Preparation: 

  • 4- 14-16 oz Pork Chops
    They like to cut big pork chops at Laurelhurst Market, so Ben recommends doing double cut chops that will weigh 14-16 ounces each. Wait to season the pork chops with salt and spice mix below until ready to cook.
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 ea. star anise, ground
  • 1 tsp salt

Brine for Pork Chops:

  • 1 Qt Water
  • 4 Qts Ice Cubes
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • Half Bunch Thyme
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • In a pot, combine everything except for the ice. Bring the brine to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Dump hot bride over the ice and stir. Pour brine over the pork chops. Leave chops in brine for minimum 8 hrs or overnight for vest results. Remove from brine and pat dry.

Blueberry Reduction:

  • 1 pint Blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 ea. star anise, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 C water
  • In a small sauce pan, toast the spices until fragrant, add blueberries and water. Cook on low heat until the blueberries break down and lose their shape. Add zest and juice of lemon and puree in the blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine strainer. Reserve for brushing onto the pork chop and brushing onto the plate.

Vegetables:

  • 2-3 Summer Squash, cut lengthwise in half and in half again
  • 2 bunches small summer onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Ben choose Summer Squash and bunched onions to use with the pork chop because they both have natural sweetness that wehn grilled will complement the pork chop and the Tanager Vineyard Pinot.

Toss both the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and
pepper. Grill over charcoal or gas grill, turning twice to get grill marks on
both sides, if the vegetables need another few minutes, I remove from the
direct heat and will let them continue to slow cook on the top rack of the
grill or in the oven.

Pickled Blueberries:

  • 1 Pint Blueberries, cleaned under cold water
  • 1 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and thyme to a quick boil, reduce to a simmer and remove from the heat, add a few ice cubes and let melt. When pickle liquid is just about room temperature, pour over the blueberries. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours but will be delicious for up to 1 month if kept in the refrigerator.

Cooking the Pork Chops:

Season the chops with salt and the spice mix, making sure to season both sides and rub in well. I recommend cooking the pork chops on a grill with mesquite charcoal. If this is not an option the next best bet is a gas grill or a cast iron skillet.

Before cooking the chops brush them with some of the blueberry laquer. If you are cooking in a cast iron pan wait until after you have cooked the chops to brush. Cook the pork chops on each side for 6-8 minutes quarter turning once on each side, and brushing with the blueberry again. the desired temp should be 150 degrees(I like mine cooked a little less so they are still a little pink inside.)

The key to cooking meat at home is to make sure you let the meat rest, after it is cooked. That means, when you pull the chops off the grill set them aside for at least 10 minutes before you slice into them. This time of rest allows the juices in the chop to absorb back into the meat, if you were to slice them right away the juices would run out and you will be left with dry pork.

Wine Pairing:

Ben recommends pairing this dish Ken Wright Cellars 2014 Tanager Vineyard Pinot Noir! The Tanager Pinto is floral & spice focused, red and blue fruits of raspberry, blueberry and cranberry dance with firmer tannin structure.