Monday, May 25, 2009

Cherry On Top: Grilled Pork Chops with Cherry Zinfandel Sauce

It's cherry season! Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, hands down, and I relish this time of year when I can get them fresh. In my neck of the woods, cherry stands sprout up on street corners, and my fingernails wear the tell-tale pink stain of the fruit's dark red juice.

I'm always looking for ways to incorporate cherries into just about anything, and this recipe has no inspiration other than that. I had big, fat pork chops in the fridge; a fresh pint basket of cherries in my market basket; and half a bottle of day-old zinfandel on the counter. Voila! A recipe is born.

After making the sauce (and spooning up every last drop!), I can tell you that it would be delicious on many things other than pork - chicken, duck, beef.... cardboard (grin!). Reduce it even more (from a sauce into more of a glaze), and it would even be a wonderful dessert topper (like ice cream, or pound cake). One thing is for sure - anything is sweeter with a cherry on top! Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Chops with Cherry Zinfandel Sauce
(makes enough sauce for two servings, but you can double accordingly)
  • 2 thick-cut boneless pork chops, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup zinfandel wine
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2+ heaping tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup sweet cherries (such as Bing), pitted and halved
Season the chops with salt and pepper to taste; grill until the chops reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees (remove from grill at about 155 degrees; allow meat to rest and come up to its final temperature of 160).

For the sauce, combine the zinfandel and the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil; reduce heat and bring down to a simmer. When the liquid has reduced by half (approximately +/-20 minutes), add the butter and sugar and stir as they melt (taste the sauce at this point; add a dash more sugar if it's still too tart). Once melted, add the sour cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Add the cherries. Let the sauce continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced enough to coat a spoon without breaking. Serve over the top of the chops. Mmm.


  1. oh lordie, Morry, you've gone and done it again. Honestly, your fantastic food writing and photography are becoming an addiction!!

    I'm gonna get a peashooter and camp beneath my Queen Anne cherry to save a pint for myself, just so I can try this.

  2. See, my drooling got the best of my brain (again) -- the reason I need the peashooter and the 24/7 residency beneath my cherry tree is to save the fruit from those damn robins. Don't tell my birder friends.

  3. Nancy - I do aim to please! But the cherry sauce recipe is over the top - SO good! I coulda (and did) sit there and eat the sauce with a spoon. Lucky there was any left for the chops! :) As for your robin friends, have you tried the mylar tape trick? Works wonders in the vineyards... don't know if you can get it there - if not, let me know - I'll mail you some.