A comforting autumn dish packed full of the season’s culinary highlights
• 400g potatoes
• 400g parsnips
• 2 pears
• Light olive oil
• 2 organic outdoor-reared pork spare rib steaks
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 60ml local cider
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
• 50g Perl Las blue cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas 6. Peel and chop the potatoes into wedges and the parsnips into thick batons. Cut the pears into quarters, then core. Toss in a large roasting tin, with just enough olive oil to coat. Season with some salt and pepper then pop the tin in the oven for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, rub the pork steaks with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan. When hot, add the pork and fry on both sides until lightly coloured.
3. Once done, smear the pork liberally on both sides with the mustard, adding half for mild, all for a stronger flavour.
4. After the veg has been in the oven for 15 minutes, give them a toss, lay the pork chops on top then return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the meat from the oven. Pour the cider in and around the vegetables and pears and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Break up the blue cheese into chunks and dot it over the top. Pop the pork back on top and bake for a further 15 minutes. The pork should be nicely coloured and well-cooked, the veg tender and the cheese melted in with the cider.
6. To serve, divide the veg, pears and pork between two plates and pour over any juices from the tin.
Recipe and imagery courtesy of Riverford, who deliver organic vegetable, meat and recipe boxes all over the Welsh Borders. For more details, visit riverford.co.uk/recipes
Tanners’ Tiffany Vernon has only one region in mind when it comes to wines that’ll pair with pear!
For this month’s dish, my wine choices are very specific. A Chenin Blanc ticks all the boxes for this dish, and what’s more, both my suggestions are from the Loire Valley in France, where Chenin Blanc is a very traditional grape variety.
First, I’ve gone with the Saumur sub-region with Saumur Blanc, Préludes, Domaine de la Paleine (£14.40). It has really the most wonderful honey and marmalade nose, making you think it’ll taste sweet, but the moment it touches your lips, you realise it’s bone dry! This is seductive ripe apples and pears enrobed in honey combined with a touch of flint and mineral character yet fresh throughout. The marmalade aroma on this wine is a typical characteristic of Botrytis Cineria (more commonly known as ‘Noble Rot’) whereby a particular bacteria is allowed to come into contact with the grapes on the vine. This causes no harm to the vine, or anyone consuming the fruit, but concentrates the sugars within the grapes and imparts flavours such as marmalade and honey.
This technique is most synonymous with sweet wines – Sauternes being a famous example. Upon tasting, there’s a strong indication that Botrytised grapes have been used for extra complexity and total deliciousness!
A little further north is the subregion of Vouvray, which is where Vouvray, Clos le Vigneau, Château Gaudrelle (£15.80) comes from. This has a floral nose mingled with ripe peach as the palate showcases an abundance of honey entwined with green apple and tinned pineapple complemented by a lingering minerality. A slight sweetness in the mouth is perfectly balanced with acidity of the racy Chenin Blanc grape, which works well with pork and the saltiness of the Perl Las blue cheese.
• Tanners Wine Merchants have branches throughout the Welsh Borders, in Chester, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Bridgnorth and Welshpool. Tel: 01743 234500. www.tanners-wines.co.uk
You may also like