Inspiration comes from many sources, most recently a trip to Woodinville wine country to taste and pick up some wines at Brian Carter Cellars. Brian, a master wine blender, has just released two new wines, a bit out of the ordinary for him as they are single varietals. So, the tasting began yesterday at the winery, and led to the kitchen this afternoon for an enjoyable bit of ‘research.’ I opted for the Sangiovese for this Sunday dinner, will move on to the Malbec. . . another day.
What did I choose to pair with this luscious, full bodied Italian style red? Well, my mind went to pork (not my brain, just the thoughts), some fresh herbs from my garden, a hint of garlic, and definitely olives. Great olives, imported, green, tasty. And I thought a small bit of sauce from the Sangiovese would be a great vehicle to carry the flavors of those three.
Herbed Pork Medallions in Tuscan Sauce
2 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 pork tenderloin, sliced diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 cup Sangiovese wine
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup best quality imported green olives
Crush the garlic on a cutting board, then sprinkle with the salt and smear to grind the garlic into a paste. Add the rosemary, chili flakes and parsley, chop finely. Rub onto surface of pork medallions, both sides. Let rest at least 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Pat the pork medallions dry and add to the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown on one side, turn and cook only 30 seconds on second side. Remove the medallions from the skillet and set aside. They will not be done yet!
Lower the heat to medium low and add the garlic.Cook the garlic slowly in the oil to a crisp light golden brown. Add the coriander and fennels seeds, cook 1 minute longer. Add the wine and raise the heat to high to reduce it by half. Turn the heat back to low; swirl in the butter to enrich and thicken the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Place the pork medallions back into the sauce with the olives; cover and finish cooking about 3 minutes.
I served the medallions over pappardelle with roasted vegetables on the side.