I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a Top Chef contestant say they made such and such dish with some sort of gastrique. It turns out that I have made my own versions of these, not realizing that it simply means creating a sauce with sweet and sour components, usually sugar and vinegar. While I may have made these sauces without knowing it, it was time to make one a little more complex and with a recipe in mind.
With a pint of blackberries in my fridge, I figured I’d search for a blackberry gastrique recipe. Unfortunately I didn’t have any duck around to pair it with, so I went with the next best thing (in my mind), pork. Everyone is aware of the obvious combo of pork and apples, well, maybe the new pork & apple will be pork and blackberries. Probably not, but one can hope.
To pair with the blackberry gastrique, I made an herb crusted pork chop. I’d made something pretty similar before with chicken, so I figured it would translate well. First, coating the pork with mustard and then dredging it in breadcrumbs and herbs. Giving the pork a quick pan sear and then finishing it in the oven ensured a nice, tender pork chop. I used boneless, But you could probably do it with a bone-in chop too, or even a larger pork tenderloin if serving a few people. This recipe serves 4.
Recipe from Cookin Canuck
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
Blend 1 3/4 cups of the blackberries in a food processor. This will eliminate the seeds. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, ensuring that you continue to use a spatula to push through any of the pure blackberry puree. Set aside.
In a medium size sauce pan, mix sugar with 1/4 cup water; cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick caramel-colored syrup, 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to watch to prevent burning. Also, using a spatula to mix is better than a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and carefully add vinegar. Return to low heat and stir until caramel is dissolved. Remove from pan and set aside. Clean pan.
In the same pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; add shallot and cook, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates (watch carefully), about 5 minutes. Add berry puree and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add the gastrique to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
Herb Crusted Pork Chop
4 boneless pork chops, fat trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, or panko
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
kosher salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450.
Rub pork chops with dijon mustard.
In a medium bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, thyme, rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Heat oil in large oven safe pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear for 2-3 minutes. Turn chops over and place in the oven for about 6-7 minutes until cooked to medium rare, or 145 degrees. Serve over top blackberry gastrique and with a side of your choice. Goes great with herb potatoes and asparagus.