I love Syrah. To me, it outshines California Cabernet Sauvignon in pairing with foods, especially those from the Rhône area of France, or cool-climate Syrahs from California. I thought pairing wine with a dish for this post would be a good idea, but then thought using the wine in the dish was even better. I also wanted a one-pot meal to warm up my house and my belly in this cold weather we’re having.
I love one-pot meals, and decided to create something with wine, also pork, and lots of winter root vegetables. The result is what I call Drunken Pork or Red Wine-Braised Pork: a big pot of hearty, spicy goodness for the winter months (don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off, so the dish is not really drunk). This dish, with red wine on Drink Wine Day will be the best pairing I’ll make all year.
- Use any combination of winter root vegetables you like; get the freshest ones at your local farmer’s market.
- Pick a red wine that goes well with chocolate, like Syrah or Zinfandel.
- You can make your own dry rub using more exotic spices like cumin and smoked paprika.
- For a gorgeous twist, use a knife to poke holes in the pork loin, then insert thin slices of garlic and carrot (this will show when slicing the finished pork, see above for a photo).
Red Wine-Braised Pork or Drunken Pork Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons Instant Beef Flavor Bouillon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 pounds pork loin or pork loin roast tied with cooking string if desired
- 6 carrots peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced (or 2 cups peeled baby carrots, thinly sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 beet diced
- 1 turnip diced
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 dried Ancho or New Mexico chile
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1 cup 6 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate morsels
- 1 Tablespoon each dried oregano and thyme leaves rubbed between fingers to release flavor
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and stir.
- CUT thin slits all over the pork loin; insert some carrot and garlic slices into the meat slits. You will have carrots and garlic left over.
- HEAT Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Sprinkle bouillon mixture over pork loin; pat with hands. Turn loin and repeat until all sides are coated.
- Add pork to Dutch oven. Cook on each side until browned, searing each side of the loin (shown above). Remove from Dutch oven.
- ADD olive oil and onion to Dutch oven; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add beet, turnip, celery and leftover garlic slices. Cook, stirring frequently, until edges are browned. Add leftover carrot slices; cook until slightly softened (photo above). Add dried chile.
- REMOVE Dutch oven from heat; add pork loin back on top of vegetables. Pour in wine or wine/juice combination, chocolate morsels, dried oregano and dried thyme (you may have to adjust the amount of liquid depending on the size of your Dutch oven). Stir for about 1 minute or until morsels are melted; cover.
- Bake, checking for doneness near end of cook time, for 2 hours or until center of pork is no longer pink.
- To serve, slice pork and top with vegetables and sauce (notice carrot slivers in pork in photo above). Garnish with fresh thyme.
Final step: pair with Syrah and enjoy!