Cherry season really only comes around for a couple of months and I do try to advantage when they are around and get some in. They make a great snack or an addition to a fruit salad, and of course you can make great things like a cherry pie or cherry turnovers, which are both awesome. You can also try incorporating them into your entrée to give some amazing flavor to your weeknight meals. I came across this recipe from Williams-Sonoma a couple of weeks back and knew I just had to give it a try to jazz up the usual pork chop dinner.
Braised Pork Chops with Cherries
4 bone-in, center-cut pork loin chops, each about 1 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Port wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh pitted cherries, halved or 1/2 cup dried cherries
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the rosemary., patting the seasonings firmly so they adhere to the meat well. In a large saute pan with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once, until the chops are golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate.
In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the leeks sand saute until they are softened and beginning to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the broth, stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Port wine, vinegar and cherries.
Return the pork chops to the pan along with any accumulated juices and spoon the liquid over the chops. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the pork is tender and barely pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Divide the chops among the plates, spoon the cherry mixture over the tops of the chops and serve.
I love the flavor the cherries give to the entire dish. They make the braising liquid taste great and they add some extra flavor to the pork chops themselves. Not everyone has Port wine around the house and it may seem expensive to go out and buy if you only need 1/4 of a cup and don’t drink port. It does add a lot of flavor to the mixture and goes well with the balsamic vinegar, so if you have some you should use it or just buy a very small bottle to use. If not, I think you can simply omit it from the recipe altogether. I served the dish with some corn on the cob, wild rice and some nice, crusty bread.
That’s all I have for today. Check back again for some other recipes in the coming days, including a high-roasted chicken recipe, a stir fry 101 primer, and a pork tenderloin recipe, among others I am looking to try. The local farmer’s market has started up again for the summer so I plan on going tomorrow to see what I can get as far as some fresh fruit and vegetables. That should affect what I make for dinner next week so check back and see what I come up with. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!