The true title of this post was originally going to be called “Lemon-Herb crusted Pork Roast with Blackberry wine and Red Chili sauce.” A serious mouthful, pun intended. I saw this blackberry wine at the liquor store when I went on an expedition to stock up on our Frontera Carmenera collection. When I left the liquor store I ended up with 4 bottles of Frontera, 1 bottle of Xplorador, a bottle of pineapple rum, and a bottle of blackberry wine. You’d think I was an alkie, huh? I’m not – we’re just on a wine kick. Say, why am I justifying to you? Ugh. Self preservation. Anyway, back to the blackberry wine. I tried it – I read up on it before I used it to cook with and everyone was like “It’s a sweet wine.” OH I like sweet wines. Tried a smidge…. and not so much. It’s sweet but it’s also not at the same time. Go figure.
I tried poking around on the interwebs looking for ways I’ll be able to get rid of this wine. NO WHERE. NADA. NOTHING. Well, except for a cake – but then it used a red wine like a merlot and added the blueberries to it. That’s cheating I think! So what did I do, I said screw this pooch, and figured I’d make something up by myself. [And, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about the outcome… I hate wasting food.] Luckily it turned out famously, I was so proud of my self. /pats self on the back.
Warning – I don’t quite remember all the measurements of what I did… but here’s most of it.
- 3.5lbs pork roast (butt roast… mmm pork butt…)
- 5 small red chilies + 1/3 cup of powdered red pepper (more or less depending on your desired spiciness)
- 1.5 cups of light brown sugar
- 1 lemon + lemon zest of the lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil – enough to coat your roast/pan
- Parsley – about 1/2 a cup
- Sage, I used dry sage. – also about 1/2 a cup
- 6 cups of Blackberry Wine + (an optional splash of carmenera … I had it lying around and it was about to go bad)
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While that is warming up, coat your roast in olive oil and place in a glass baking dish. Then get all lovey-dovey with it.
- Mix the sage and parsley flakes together in a small dish and then coat the WHOLE roast with the mixture. Make sure that it’s even and all that jazz, you don’t want anyone being ‘jipped’ out of the herby goodness. After you do that, do the same thing with a cup of brown sugar. [If you did the sugar first – it would caramelize and then lock out the flavors of the herbs. No fun, that]
- Now that you and your butt roast (I still laugh at that name… yes I have moments where I’m still basically 5) are well acquainted with each other, zest the lemon over top of the roast, slice it in half and use one half’s worth of juice over top of the roast. And top finally with salt (I used coarse sea salt that was infused with garlic, but any one would work) and a little bit of pepper
- Pop that baby in the oven and let it roast for an hour and a half (or a little less depending on your fancy oven and stuff).
- While your butt is roasting away, take out a medium sauce pan and add a little bit of olive oil, followed by the chilies – I just threw them in whole. If you want to add a major kick to it – you can slice them in half and only remove HALF the seeds (otherwise it might be too much). Let it simmer for a few minutes that way the chilies are nicely roasted and ready for their Blackberry wine bath. Add the wine and bring to a boil, while it’s boiling – stir it constantly, you don’t want to burn this stuff otherwise it will stink and you’ll have wasted a bottle of wine. Toss in the chili powder, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of onion powder if you happen to have it. Lastly add the remainder of the lemon juice. It will definitely brighten up the taste of the sauce and bring out the natural ‘blackberry’ flavor.
- Once everything is incorporated, reduce to a simmer, and let that baby cook away while the roast is in the oven – this will reduce the sauce so that it’s not as runny as it would be if it was just straight wine. Stir occasionally, just keep an eye on it. This will simmer for as long as the roast is in the oven.
- When everything looks ready to go and your pork is done cooking all the way through, strain your blackberry wine sauce in a fine mesh strainer so that it catches all the chili bits, while leaving all the yummy infused sauce in a little sauce thingy who’s correct name escapes me at the moment.
- To plate, cut the roast into thick slices and then drizzle a little bit of the sauce over top. I find that adding too much sauce can over power the pork/herb combination… so use sparingly. But don’t worry – you’ll have enough to go around and then I’m sure it would work well on a salad if you shake it up with a bit of balsamic vinegar or olive oil.
Eat up and enjoy. If you have any more questions feel free to shoot me a message or leave me a comment.
Also, I’m really excited that you took the time to read this. It means a lot to me.