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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Savory Sour Cherry Sauce

Last summer my friend, Diane, had a pie cherry tree loaded with fruit. She kindly let me pick some and I ended up with enough for jam and a couple of quart bags of cherries in the freezer. I've made the sauce with fresh and frozen cherries and they performed equally well. This can be used on pork (as in the recipe below), sliced ham, or baked or sauteed chicken. It is rather hardy so it seems more like a winter dish, but if you eat "seasonally" it can be a summer meal, too.


Savory Sour Cherry Sauce

Adapted from:
Serves: 6-8

3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T sugar
3/4 c dry red wine
1/4 c minced shallot
1 3-in cinnamon stick
1 c chicken broth
1 pound sour cherries (about 3 cups), pitted (frozen sour cherries are fine, too)
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 T cold water
2 teas fresh lime juice, or to taste
salt and pepper
6-8 thick pork chops (country style ribs, pork roast or tenderloin would be good, too)

Boil the vinegar and sugar over moderate heat in a heavy saucepan until the mixture has thickened into a glaze. Add the shallot, wine, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil and cook until the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Stir in the cherries and the broth and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the sauce. Stir as the sauce thickens and simmer for 2 minutes. If you want it to be thinner, add water by tablespoon until you achieve desired thickness. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the sauce and keep it warm.

Here's how to prepare pork chops to eat with cherry sauce:

Brine pork chops for an hour in a mixture of 1 1/2 quarts water and 3 T table salt. With paper towels, pat the chops dry and season with pepper. Grill the chops over heated coals or a preheated gas grill for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until they are cooked to your preference. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow juices to be reabsorbed. 

Serve the chops passing the cherry sauce at the table.

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