It may only be Monday, but I’ve got your Sunday dinner right here. Our Autumn officially began this weekend with our boat’s journey to its winter storage space. We got incredibly lucky with a perfect, warm, calm blue sky day for the two hour trip, and we were able to enjoy some bubbly along the way. It was fun, it was perfect, and it was also kind of heartbreaking. Being on the boat makes both of us happier than pretty much anything, and the thought of winter. . .
Well, I can’t even think about it.
So for now, instead of thinking of my dread and doom for the next five months, I will share a recipe inspired by this years’ Sonoma Wine Road Wine & Food Affair Cookbook.
It’s no secret I love cooking with wine and pairing wine and food, and every page of this book does just that. The second I received my copy, I started thumbing through and marking recipes with slips of paper. On a recent dreary day, I decided to make a Cuban Port Stew, inspired by this recipe submitted by Kachina Vineyards.
red onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Amista Zinfandel
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons tomato paste
cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste
juice of one lime
2 large sweet potatoes, roasted and mashed
as much butter as you like on your mashed sweet potatoes
The large majority of this recipe is in the prep. I first rubbed the pork with the spices and salt and put it aside. Then I softened the onion and garlic in some oil, added the pork shoulder and browned on all sides, pouring the liquids (except the lime juice)and tomato paste in after, stirring, and covering until the pork started to cook fully. At that point, I started to shred it with two forks. Right before serving, I added the lime juice, then plated up the pork stew over buttered, mashed sweet potatoes.
The potatoes and citrus flavors went so well together, and the pork was really tender. Pork and red wine do go together, and this Amista Zinfandel lent jammy berry flavors to round out the dish.
Sadly, while it was delicious, it was not the prettiest dish. Fall food is definitely not always lovely to look at, but it does the trick with bold, comforting flavors, textures, and temperatures, and makes spending time in the kitchen a treat when you come up with a slow cooked meal.
The Tasting Along the Wine Road cook book was provided to me as a media sample; it typically comes along with registration for the Wine and Food Affair, which I highly recommend experiencing at some point in life.