The weather has fully turned to autumn and that means lots of slow cooker meals on those days I work from home. This week at the end of #winechat Marie (Life of Vines Blog & #winechat host) mentioned that the topic for next week’s chat will seasonal drinking and the shift to cooler weather. I’m not a seasonal drinker per se, but I do see the shift in action when I observe other people’s habits. In my post at CBS Boston earlier this year about Summer Beverage Trends I did share my thought on lighter beers and drinks with carbonation prevailing during the warm weather. I drink red wine and dark, heavy beers all year round, but the key for me is being able to serve red wine the right temperature, even in the heat. If you can’t, it isn’t worth wasting a good bottle of red wine served at 80 degrees!
I am a seasonal eater however, and the shift in recipes does involve cooking with red wine, something I did for the first time this season, this week. The meals are often heartier including root vegetables, reductions of the braising juices from the slow cooker and bread. Paired with an equally hearty red wine these meals are always quite satisfying.
This week I took a couple wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard for a spin, using one to cook three pounds of pork loin, and the other to pair with the finished product. I’ll review the wines first and then finish with the recipe for pork.
Le Cigare Volant 2007
Complex nose with lots of dark red and black fruits. Hints of warmth from the oak. Raspberry and plum in the mouth. There is also spice, earth and a vegetal character in the mouth. The complexity continues through the finish. Nice balance and it really demands to be enjoyed! I’ve heard plenty about this wine and was just too lazy up until recently to get some in house. This is a solid Rhone style blend from a California producer that I am just getting to know. A blend of 60% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre and 4% Cinsault.
Clos de Gilroy 2010
Central Coast Grenache. I’m not sure about this particular wine. It is young and if it is going to develop any austerity and nuance I didn’t get a hint of it from my tasting. Sometimes bottles don’t travel well, and bottle #2 will be allowed to sit well into 2012 to see that happens. I found it to be fruity, light, with soft tannins and pretty basic. I did feel it was tasty enough and at a reasonable price point to cook with, and that’s just what I did.
Red Wine Slow Cooked Pork
Rub for the pork
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp salt
½ tsp instant coffee powder
¼ tsp all spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chipotle powder
3 pound pork loin roast
1 cup Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy 2010
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Reduced Sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp honey
Mix all of the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the pork loin, including the bottom
and sides of the roast with the prepared dry rub. Allow the meat to sit for at least an hour.
Setup your slow cooker, coat the inside of it with cooking spray and set on high. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Sear the roast on all sides until nicely browned. Remove from heat. Pour all of the cooking liquid ingredients into a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat until just hot.
Place the roast in the slow cooker. Pour the warm cooking liquid over top. Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat and cook on low for 6 hours, or until it reaches the desired consistency.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and let rest, covered with tin foil, while you prepare the glaze form the leftover cooking liquid. Pour the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker into a small pot on the stove, and bring to a boil. Let the liquid simmer and reduce for 10 minutes or so, until it thickens.
The pork came out of the slow cooker almost falling apart and by the time the plates were prepared a fork cut right through it. I plated the pork with sauteed onions, the sauce, mashed parsnip & potato and butter/dill carrots. The bread was a rosemary white bread made using a killer no-knead recipe taken from the book “My Bread, The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method”. The bread really is easy and the smell of warm rosemary while it was cooking was very pleasing!
The pairing with the Le Cigare Volant was spot on. The match for the spices in the rub and those in the wine was the central tie for me. The richness of the sauce over the pork was complimented by the complexity of the wine. The only sad part has been eating the leftovers at my desk at work without the wine!