Pinot Noir's Perfect Pork Pairing

Hearty but not heavy, savory and succulent. This is the symphony created when sipping Pinot Noir with pork chops—no matter the season. But, when the air is crisp and cool, these seductive qualities only intensify, making the match-up nothing short of magical. To ensure you don’t miss one of autumn’s tastiest pairings, pluck a favorite bottle and enjoy it with this apple-brined pork chop from Chef Tim Humphrey of Tiburon Tavern in Tiburon, California. 

Apple Juice-Brined Pork Chops
1  cup apple juice
3  tablespoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1  tablespoon granulated sugar
2  10-ounce bone-in pork chops
Pinch of cracked black pepper

Combine the apple juice, 2 cups of water, salt and sugar in a large bowl and pour over the pork chops. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  

Remove the chops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season each pork chop with salt and pepper. Place the chops on a medium-hot grill; flip them after 8–10 minutes. Remove after they’re cooked to your preference (8 minutes for medium). Let them cool for 2–3 minutes before serving. Serves 2.

The Topping
2  tablespoons bacon lardons
½  shallot, sliced thin
2  cups chopped mustard greens
1  tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt, if desired

In a sauté pan, cook the bacon until crispy, then remove and set aside. Leave about a tablespoon of fat in the pan; drain the rest.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook the shallots until slightly tender, then add the mustard greens and cooked bacon. Cook until the mustard greens wilt, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add butter and salt to taste. 

Bet you didn’t know those are smoked gouda cheese grits under that pork chop. Yep. And they’re amazing. Here's the recipe: 

Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits
1 cup milk
1 cup Anson Mills organic white grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup grated smoked gouda cheese
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Pinch of kosher salt

In a medium-sized pot, bring 3 cups of water and the milk to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in the grits. Turn heat to low and stir occasionally. Once the grits are cooked, about 30 minutes, whisk in the butter, cheese and garlic powder. Taste, and add pinch of salt, if desired. Serves 2.


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Published on September 2, 2014
Topics: Wine + Food Pairings