Wine & Food Pairings
Honey-Brined, Pecan-Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Red Currant Reduction; served over Roasted Butternut Mash and Served with La Cartuja 2009 Priorat
Honey-Brined, Pecan-Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Red Currant Reduction; served over Roasted Butternut Mash
2-pork tenderloins, approx. 1.25 pounds each (soaked in brine for 24 hours ideally or overnight)
1 C water
2 ½ t salt
1½ t sugar
1 oz fresh thyme
2 T honey
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over 1.5 cups ice and let cool for 30 minutes.
Soak pork tenderloin in the brine for 24 hours, or at least overnight.
Apple Red Currant Reduction
3 C apple juice
1 T brown sugar
½ oz. fresh thyme
½ oz. fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 T red currant jelly
Measure 1st 5 above ingredients into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon with medium syrup viscosity.
Whisk in 3 Tablespoon red currant jelly and strain out any stems.
Let mixture cool for a couple hours (If mixture is too thick, bring back to a simmer and add a small amount of water)
2 C pecans
1 C bread crumbs
2 t dried parsley
¼ t salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor bowl. Pulse-Grind until you have reached a medium course consistency. You will still want to see small chunks of the pecans.
Roasted Butternut Mash
1 ea Butternut Squash, peeled and cored
2 T unsalted butter
¼ C whole milk
Cinnamon, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Peel and cut squash into ½ inch by ½ inch cubes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees .
Toss squash cubes in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place squash cubes on baking pan and roast until soft (can easily be broken with small amount of pressure from a set of tongs).
When squash is soft put, in a KitchenAid mixer with the whip attachment.
Add 2 T unsalted butter and ¼ C hot milk .
Add Cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to desired flavor.
** If Butternut Squash start to brown or blacken before soft; cover with foil and remove from oven.
To Encrust the Pork Tenderloin
Strain pork tenderloin out of brine and rinse and pat dry with disposable towel.
Three Pan Breading Method:
One pan with ½ cup flour
One pan with 4 eggs, beaten
One pan with pecan encrustment.
Dredge Tenderloin first in flour, then egg, lastly in the pecan encrustment.
Heat up skillet and add 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil and put Encrusted Pork into heated skillet. (Be careful to only brown, not burn, the Pecan Encrusted Pork Tenderloin.) Cook until all sides have been browned.
Place in baking pan and cook in oven to desired temperature. 160 is cooked through.
Pull pork and let rest for 3.27 minutes then slice in ½ inch slice and place ornately over Roasted Butternut Mash and spoon Apple Sauce over the Tenderloin.
Spain’s Priorat Wines
Not having a lot of exposure to reasonably priced wine from Priorat, I was intrigued when presented with La Cartuja 2009 Priorat. Most of my encounters with this region were with intense wines priced from over $30 to $100 – not always an easy sell in today’s market. After tasting the young and fresh, La Cartuja, I agreed with the critics that this wine is an amazing value and a great introduction to Priorat. Organic viticulture, small production, (only 1350 cases imported to the United States), oak aging, a 5-6 year cellaring potential, estate owned status, usually adds up to a high priced wine, but not in this case. Something unique is always a great candidate for our monthly food and wine pairing.
Like most wines from Priorat, Garnacha (50 percent) is the backbone of La Cartuja, with Carinena (Carignan in France) following at 30 percent and ten percent each of Syrah and Cabernet. Although the family has owned this estate for many generations, (which may help explain the lower price), this wine is only in its third vintage.
Spain has a rich wine-making history with viticulture dating back to 4000 to 3000 B.C. It t is the most widely planted wine producing nation with over 2.9 million acres, but it is “only the third largest producer of wine in the world.
This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. With the potential of summer drought, the very dry soils often can’t support the vines, so they have to be planted farther apart.) Spanish growers have only officially been able to irrigate since 2003, but installing and running this system is often cost prohibitive.
Although Spain boasts having over 600 varieties, most of the production is from about 20 varietals.
In Spain, most wines fall under the DO (Denominacion Origen) classification, numbers around 60, except for 2 regions which are Rioja and Priorato. These two areas earn the top distinction of wines in Spain, called DOCas (Denominacion de Origen Calificada). Our featured wine today comes from this upcoming and highly regarded region of Priorat.
Before the arrival of pylloxera, there were 12,350 acres planted to vine in Priorat, which eventually dropped to about 1500 acres. However, in the 1990’s this tiny area, experienced a renaissance and started to produce some of Spain’s most expensive and highly acclaimed wines, gaining an international cult status. Priorat’s unique terroir called “licorella”, an unusual combination of dark brown slate and quartzite, produces its classic mineral laden essence in Priorat’s finest.
Spain’s investments in updating its wineries and technology have made a hit with international consumers. The U.S. imports of Spanish wines have seen a huge increase in the last five years, and will likely keep gaining steam in the future. Priorat is a relative and welcome newcomer to our market. Come into Joy Wine and Spirits to find another gem, like La Cartuja. Experience all the status of this region, without the high price.