Wine suggestions here are for dry or off-dry rose, or a red that relies on Grenache to give body and character, such as a Cotes du Rhone, would be a good choice. I also think that some Argentinian Malbecs and Malbec blends will be a good match for this dish. Look for the Carlos Basso label, or Diseno Old Vine Malbec.
The second recipe is for a Hungarian pork goulash that can be spiced to your liking and can be served either with or without sour cream. I suppose the addition of sour cream depends on how close to your New Year's resolutions you decide to make this dish. You can make homemade spaetzle, or you can take the easy way out and just serve it over store-bought broad noodles. In Texas, we have access to wonderful Czech cooking, so I often get homemade kluski noodles in a small-town grocery store and prepare them to have with this dish. I've also made this goulash in a slow cooker with much success. You could, of course, pair this dish with a good craft beer and that is something I know nothing about--consult your local Spec's. What I drank when I last made this goulash was Chateau Marouine Rose Cotes du Provence 2005 (France). This is a slightly off-dry rose with lots of melon and fruit and an earthniness that makes it substantial. Lush, creamy finish and for me, it stood up perfectly to the richness and spiciness of the goulash. You could also go with a not too heavy red, such as a lighter Zinfandel or something that relies on the Sangiovese grape. Again, check with your wine guys at Spec's for help.
The third recipe comes via a link. Anne Burrell's brined pork chops with fennel pollen are really juicy, toothsome and wonderfully fragrant. They are worth the extra time and effort, and so is the polenta recipe that accompanies them. You have to plan ahead for this one to leave yourself time for brining, and you need fennel pollen, which you can get at Pollen Ranch (I mean, where else would pollen come from?) at http://www.fennelpollen.com/.
Wine recommendations? My wine guy at Spec's handed me a very affordable bottle of Domaine de Cabasse Cotes du Rhone 2007 (France). Mostly Grenache, this red is reviewed as having lots of fruit (strawberry and dried apple predominant) that opens and mellows beautifully in the glass and is balanced by a bright, clean acidity and a creamy finish. Sounds like a dream come true, no? Laura Ashley and Liberty of London fans, you'll love the label! P.S., my wine guy told me he was very envious that I was taking that bottle home with me.
And without further ado, the recipes:
Roast Pork Sandwiches with Provolone, Caramelized Onions and au jus
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 large onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 (2-ounce) French bread rolls or hard rolls
6 slices Provolone cheese
Romaine leaves or arugula (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; add 1 teaspoon oil. Rub over pork. Let stand 15 minutes.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides.
4. Bake at 400° in a deep-sided roasting pan for 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in saute pan. Saute onion slices until caramelized on medium heat, about 10-12 minutes. Keep warm.
6. Remove pork from pan; cut diagonally across grain into 12 slices.
7. Return pan to medium-high heat, and add broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add sherry and tomato paste; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
8. Cut rolls in half horizontally. Toast, if desired. Place Provolone cheese on top side of roll and melt briefly in hot oven.
9. Place 2 slices pork on bottom half of each roll; top with caramelized onions and romaine or arugula, if desired. Cover with roll tops. Serve with au jus. Makes 6 sandwiches.
Hungarian Pork Goulash
adapted from The New Goodhousekeeping Cookbook, ed. Carter
2 Tbs. oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs. paprika (I like to use a mixture of Hungarian sweet with Hangarian sharp)
2 lbs. pork, cubed
1 16 oz. bag or can sauerkraut, drained
1 small tomato, cut up
2 1/2 cups rich chicken broth
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. sour cream (optional)
1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stitting occasionally, until tender; add garlic and cook another minute or so.
2. Add paprika and cook and stir for 1 minute.
3. Add pork and next five ingredients; heat to boiling, then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork-tender.
4. Skim off extra fat and stir in sour cream, if using. Heat through gently. Serve with noodles or homemade spaetzle. Makes 8 servings.
Anne Burrell's pork chop recipe:
May your tastebuds dance all night long!