It's finally summer time, which means plums are in season! If you remember, about a month ago, I wanted to make this recipe for Pork Chops with Plum Sauce, but couldn't find plums anywhere! Since I had already purchased the red wine for the sauce, I ended up making a red wine reduction to sauce the pork.
I finally found plums at Trader Joe's last weekend and added a basket to my cart, then stopped by the liquor store. Last month, I had picked up a bottle of Pinot Noir for the recipe, but when reading the labels, [yellow tail] described their Merlot as "ripe plum flavors with a touch of warm spice." Perfect for my plum sauce! And at $7.99 a bottle, easy on the wallet. I think I have tried nearly ever variety of wine they offer, and haven't tasted one I haven't liked (that's my honest opinion, I have not been paid by [yellow tail] to endorse their wines).
This recipe was worth the wait. The sauce is tangy and slightly sweet and complements the pork well. The pork itself is quick-marinated in the wine with a little ginger and cornstarch. The cornstarch absorbs the flavors of the marinade and provides a crisp crust when the pork is sautéed. Don't be impatient with the sauce — let it simmer and reduce to a nice syrupy thickness. It will have a lot more flavor and will coat the pork rather than run off of it.
Pork with Plum Sauce
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Kosher salt
- 4 ½-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 8 large fresh mint leaves
- 3 small plums, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Grapeseed oil, for frying
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp of the red wine, the ginger, and 2 tsp of ice-cold water. Whisk in the cornstarch and 1 tsp kosher salt. Place the pork chops in a sturdy zip-top plastic bag, then pour the wine mixture on top. Seal the bag (squeezing out as much air as possible), and turn the bag to coat the pork chops in the mixture. Refrigerate while you make the plum sauce.
- Place the orange zest and juice in a medium skillet. Whisk in the vinegar, honey, and the remaining wine. Add the mint leaves and cook over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the plums and cook another 4 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and discard the mint leaves. Add the butter pieces and swirl the pan until the butter is melted, then whisk to combine. Season the sauce to taste with salt.
- Heat ¼-inch grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the pork from the zip-top bag and place in the skillet. Pan-fry until golden brown and crisp, about four to five minutes on each side, and a thermometer registers 145 degrees. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Immediately season with salt and pepper. Serve with two or three spoonfuls of plum sauce.