Pork Chops with Morels, Asparagus and Cherries in Wine

Yes the title is a mouthful, but what a delicious one! And I didn’t even add to the title the side of smoked maple sweet potatoes. Together they were a deliciously complex and satisfying dish! 

This one is really just about the ingredients. I was inspired by the morel mushrooms I finally saw available at Wegmans the other day. I had them in a dish a loooong time ago and have been wanting to try cooking them, but they are elusive.  They look weird – kinda like a raisin-mushroom hybrid. 

The taste is earthy and subtly sweet for a shroom – it definitely has the “umami” factor.  I had some pork chops on hand and, of course, fresh herbs from the garden; thyme and basil I thought would be good for this.  I chopped up the herbs a pressed them on both sides of the chops. 

I cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and got them boiling for a while as I prepped the other items for the sautée.  

I sliced the morels into quarters and sliced the asparagus at an angle for prettiness. Then I pitted some cherries and cut them in half – just press them with the flat side of a knife and the pits will separate from the fruit. 

And it leaves you with art!!

Hehe, sorry, couldn’t resist!! The plan for the pork was to first sear it in Truffle oil. 

Get a nice light sear on both sides, then toss into the oven to finish at 375 for about 20 minutes (these were thick chops) and this will give time to make the wine sauce with the asparagus, morels and cherries, as well as the taters.  I used the same pan to get the sauce and stuff going. And a hefty amount of red wine. 

Start with the asparagus and morels in the hot pan with the residual Truffle oil and pork drippings and toss around just to get a gentle sear. Then add about a quarter cup of red wine. Then add a little more wine. 

Let this bubble til the wine reduces, then add the cherries. And a bit more wine!

It will reduce all on its own, so just let it simmer. I’ll often add something sweet into the wine reduction, but knowing I was pairing this with maple sweet potatoes, I didn’t need to, for they would play together like best friends. And I didn’t need to add anything savory because there were still remnants of the Truffle oil and pork juices. For the sweet potatoes, once they were nice and soft, I got em out of the boil and into a bowl, then mashed with butter and maple syrup. I have a great smoked maple syrup I like to use for many purposes (it’s amazing on bacon), Sugar Bob’s Finest.  

The mash will be your base if you want to plate it all like a stack of one great bite after the next. I just used one medium sized sweet potato for two servings. When all is done, lay down the bed of sweet potatoes and place a chop on top. 

Isn’t that lovely??? Then we add the yummy wine sauce and goodies on top!

I placed a sprig of fresh thyme purely for looks. This dish was a hit. All the flavors together just blended like a polyphonic chorus singing Hallelujah in my mouth!! 

I paired it with my trusty house red, the Alamos Malbec. Malbec is lighter and softer than most cabs and merlots and I didn’t want to overpower the delicacy of the morels and sweetness of the cherries. Actually, the truth is I didn’t care for the first bottle I opened (too sweet for my red lining) so I cooked with that one and drank one I knew would satisfy. 

This was sooooo good! And I definitely put a dent on the Alamos Malbec, it has been one of those days where the edge simply couldn’t be taken off by merely one glass! 

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