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Braised Pork with Poached Cherries, Caramelized Onions and a Herb Cracker from Restaurant Mirepoix

This recipe was created by Matthew Bousquet, Chef/Owner of Restaurant Mirepoix in Windsor, CA. Chef Bousquet created this dish in 2003 for a Russian River Valley Winegrowers Grape to Glass event which was held at Olivet Grange. The cherry, cinnamon, clove and anise echo the flavours in the Olivet Grange Pinot Noir fruit.

1/2 pork shoulder
3 c. mirepoix, 1 cup each of leeks, carrots and onion -- caramelize these ingredients together to form the mirepoix
1 bottle Pinot Noir
2 TB. tomato paste
2 gallons of water
2 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
2 TB. thyme
1 onion, (sliced)
1 TB. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pint cherries
1 c. brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
2 cloves
1 bottle of Pinot Noir

Place all ingredients in a large (and tall) pan making sure the shoulder is mostly covered with liquid. Cover the pan with foil and place in a 300˚F oven for 3 hours or until tender. Remove the pork and purée the liquid/mirepoix. Pour the purée over the pork, then shred the meat. Sauté onion in butter on low heat until brown and caramelize on low heat until brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine brown sugar and spices with Pinot Noir and bring to a light boil on medium heat. Add cherries and poach for 3 minutes. Serve shredded pork mixture on a herb cracker and garnish with caramelized onion and poached cherries.

Serves 20