Pinot Noir & Pork Pairings

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Bacon Lardon-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

With Pinot Noir-Braised Dried Cherries, Riz Rouge & Violet Mustard
Recipe courtesy Dustin Valette, chef de cuisine, Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg, CA

1 pound bacon, skin off, whole slab
Kosher salt
Fresh pepper
1 onion, peeled and diced small
1  fennel bulb, cut into eighths, reserving the fronds for garnish
1 garlic, whole head, cut in half
1  carrot, peeled and cut into eighths
1  bunch fresh thyme
1  tablespoon whole coriander seed
5  cups fresh chicken stock
4  ounces Pinot Noir
1  ounce red wine vinegar
3 ounces dried cherries
2  ounces olive oil
2  cups Riz Rouge rice
1  cup white wine
½  cup toasted marcona almonds
2  pounds pork tenderloin
1  ounce violet mustard
Fleur de sel, for garnish

Season the bacon lightly with salt and pepper, and sauté in a large pan until it’s golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the bacon from the pan and place in a deep casserole dish.

Preheat an oven to 325˚F. Add half of the onions, as well as the fennel, garlic, carrots, thyme and coriander to the casserole dish.

Bring 2 cups of the chicken stock to a boil in a separate pot and pour over the bacon. Wrap with aluminum foil and cook for 1–2 hours, or until the bacon is tender. Once cooked, allow the belly to cool in the liquid overnight, then discard everything but the bacon.

In a medium-sized pot, bring the Pinot Noir and red wine vinegar to a boil, add the dried cherries and cook for 5 minutes at low heat. Reserve warm.

In a medium-sized pot, add the olive oil and sauté the rest of the diced onion. Once the onions become translucent, add the Riz Rouge rice and deglaze with the white wine. Add the remaining 3 quarts of chicken stock slowly and in small increments until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. Remove the rice from heat and gently stir in the toasted almonds and cooked dried cherries. Reserve and keep warm.

Take the pork tenderloin and make a long slit down the center to make a hole inside without cutting through the sides (basically you’re making a sleeve). Take the pre-cooked bacon and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the bacon inside the slit you just make in the tenderloin.

Season with salt and pepper and roast in a pan over medium heat until cooked to about 160˚F. Since the bacon is already cooked, it just needs to be heated through. Once the pork is cooked, reserve in a warm area.

Start plating by placing a line of the Riz Rouge in the center of the plate. Slice the cooked tenderloin, placing a couple of slices on top of the Riz Rouge, stacking one by one.

Put a couple of artistic dots of the violet mustard on the right side of the plate and sprinkle fleur de sel. Place the fennel fronds on top of the tenderloin and repeat with the remaining three plates. Serves 4.


Pair It

Rippon 2010 Mature Vine Pinot Noir (Central Otago); $40

Rippon’s powerful Pinot from some of Central Otago, New Zealand’s oldest vines is tightly textured, expressive in black cherry fruit, cola and brown spices. Its fine tannins will stand up to the bacon and completely complement the dried cherries, with a hit of herb on the finish racing neck and neck against the violet mustard for most-delicious honors.

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