Tag Archives: wine

Pork Chops with Pinot Noir Sauce.

When the Husby and I first started dating, we did the whole getting dressed up and going out to a nice dinner, but after thirteen years together, we’ve perfected our Valentine’s Day routine.  I buy him a card – one from me and one from the kids – weeks in advance and the night before or morning of, he runs out for a cheesy grocery store bouquet of roses.  Unintentionally for the past few years, we’ve ended up going to the Auto Show during the day.   And we always end our night by curling up on the couch with a heart shaped pizza from Lou Malnati’s while watching a movie.

Today started out same as always.  The cards were exchanged, the flowers purchased, the Auto Show attended.  But this year, I decided to change things up a bit.  The theme for this week’s swap was super apropos  – special occasion – so it seemed fitting to get in the kitchen and cook.  I wouldn’t say that we dressed up like we used to but we did enjoy a nice meal together.

We liked this entree although we both agreed that the sauce was a bit salty (likely due to user error since I didn’t measure).  For as much as I like to drink wine, I always forget how easy it is to make a pan sauce so this was a nice change from a plain old porkchop.  The only change I would make next time would be to sear the pork before baking in order to give it some color.  I did also wish that the flavor of the wine would be a bit more prevalent.

Pork Chops with Pinot Noir Sauce.

Adapted from The Redhead Baker


  • 4 Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 3 Tbsp. Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Cups Pinot Noir (I used Mark West)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, chilled


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the water, kosher salt and sugar in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, then add the pork chops and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry. Rub with olive oil and season with pepper, to taste.

Place the pork chops on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the pork cooks, set a skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the shallots and cook for 30-60 seconds, then add the Pinot Noir. With a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the wine to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, until reduced by half.

Add the chicken broth, stir, and cook an additional 15 minutes, until reduced to about 1/3 cup.

Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper and sugar. Stirring constantly, add the butter one tablespoon at a time until sauce is smooth and thickened.

Serve the pork chops with two tablespoons of sauce.


Pinot Noir Cranberries.

Before we got married, the (future) Husby and I took a trip to Eugene, Oregon.  It was quite the adventure getting there but we fell in love with the city.  The people were friendly and laid back, the city clean, beautiful and green.  If we ever decided to leave Chicago (we’ll never leave you, my love), this is where we would go.

While we were there, we drove up to one of the local wineries and spent the afternoon there.  It was our first time ever visiting a winery (we couldn’t have been older than 22), and really, likely one of our first times really drinking wine.  That was the day I fell in love with Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley, a love that hasn’t faltered to this very day.

So naturally, I was ecstatic to find this recipe on Closet Cooking, one of my favorite food blogs.  I’m constantly finding myself drooling over his recipes, so I knew this one would not steer me wrong.  The pinot was an incredible complement to the cranberries and the ginger was a welcome addition.  Everyone gobbled (ha ha) them up!  I didn’t even have any leftovers.

Oh well, I guess tha just gives me an excuse to open up another bottle, right?

Pinot Noir Cranberries – slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, grated*
  • 2 Cups Pinot Noir
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crystallized Ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cranberries and fresh ginger  and stir until the cranberries begin to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine and sugar and boil for 15-20 minutes, until reduced.  Remove from heat and stir in the crystallized ginger and Chinese five spice powder.

* If you store fresh ginger in the freezer, it will keep for months.  It will also make it incredibly easy to grate.