Friday, October 09, 2009
Smoked Pork Chops with Fresh Peach Chutney
Pat and I celebrated the change of seasons with this meal, a serendipitous combination of summer and fall ingredients. Harvest is upon us. The Finger Lakes grapes are being picked and crushed. Our friend, Frankie, had his pig slaughtered, and he shared a couple smoked pork chops and some country bacon with us. I was eager to taste them.
Despite the change of weather and appetites, my garden is still producing tomatoes, and even provided a couple nasturtiums to brighten the plate. A quick Google gave me ideas on putting together a chutney to smother the chops with, using up the last of the summer's peaches. In a small saucepan on low to medium heat, I melted brown sugar in apple cider vinegar. Then, I added grated ginger and carefully minced hot pepper (courtesy of our friend Fred's garden), tasting all the while to test for balance of flavors. Next, I tossed in half a handful of raisins, which soon plumped up. Lastly, I stirred in chunks of peeled peaches. The chutney was then simmered until it reached the desired consistency, and allowed to cool to room temperature before spooning over the meat.
Frankie's instructions regarding the pork chops were: put these in a pan with some water and a little butter. They are already cooked (via smoking) so they just have to be warmed through. The truly wonderful thing about this pork is that has no water added. This provides a superior texture and flavor to the meat. It also doesn't hurt to know that the pig was raised down the road, fattened on kitchen scraps and garden refuse.
We paired the meal with one of my favorite wines of the summer, Lamoreaux Landing's 2008 Red Oak Vineyard Riesling. All the grapes in this wine come from a four acre vineyard in southern Seneca County. The vines in this parcel are very young and 2008 was the first harvest from the Red Oak Vineyard. The result was an off dry riesling, which is incredibly fragrant on the nose with nice orchard fruit and honeysuckle notes. (Yes, I have my tasting room speech down. What can I say? I work at Lamoreaux because I love the wine.)
We are squeezing the last drops out of summer, but welcome the coziness and spice that fall promises.