Sometimes plain, unadorned pork chops or lamb chops won't do, and when I'm short on time it's a treat to grab a container of sauce from the refrigerator or freezer to liven up the taste. It's also a treat to finally use several of the semi-filled jars and bottles that clutter up the fridge and free-up some space for real food.
This week I scanned the refrigerator shelves and wondered where all of those little partially-filled jars and bottles had come from? When did they arrive? No doubt it was long ago, when my back was turned or I had stepped out of the galley, or they were beamed up from a parallel universe. And what do I with them? I'm too frugal to casually toss them away, though it's a tempting thought. The recent collection included several jars of jam, a variety of flavors that I didn't even remember sampling. No problem, those jars with their little dabs of jam add amazing flavor to a simple wine sauce and glaze for chops. Even better news, the sauce keeps well when chilled or frozen. The wine? I used the last bit from a container of Black Box Merlot, though I must admit leftover wine isn't a big problem around here.
|Oops! forgot to crumble the dried rosemary so the sauce will be crunchy|
Jam and Wine Sauce with Rosemary:
the base recipe with my recent adjustments noted in red italics
1½ cups dry red wine (merlot)
1½ cups cherry jam (15 oz) or a mixture of fruit jams
½ cup raspberry vinegar or a cider vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar mix
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves,
or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled - this is important, whole leaves are unpleasant to chew and stick between your teeth
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, white & green parts
For the sauce:
Use a 10 or 12-inch frying pan over high heat; bring wine, jam, vinegar, rosemary and pepper to a boil. Stir often until reduced to a scant 2 cups. This will take 10 to 20 minutes. Stir in the green onion slices.
Let sauce cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Pour equal portions into 2 microwave-safe containers, about 1 - 2 cup size. Seal and freeze or use immediately.
To thaw, loosen lid on one container of sauce, but leave loosely in place on top of the container. Cook in a microwave at full 100% power, stir occasionally, until thawed (2 or 3 minutes).
To use as a pan sauce or glaze with meat:
Pan sauté pork or lamb chops in 2-teaspoons of olive oil or a butter and olive oil blend in a 12 or 14” frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown chops on both sides, keeping the center pink, about 5-6 minutes total. Remove to warmed plates and keep warm.
Discard fat from the pan but keep any browned bits. Pour a container of Jam and Wine Sauce into the pan and stir over high heat, scraping up the fond, until heated through and reduced further to desired consistency. (1 to 3 minutes)
Spoon equally over or around meat, or dip chops in sauce and serve additional sauce on the side. Season to taste with salt.
Note: Recently served over pork pieces with accompanying coconut rice and green salad with nuts and red grapes. Two thumbs up.
Update January 4, 2013
This jam has been delicious as a topping for savory Cheese Wafers (link) and Parmesan Puffs (link). It's just sweet enough to balance the flavor of cheese and the bite of pepper - sweet but not too sweet.