Monday, May 18, 2009

Eek, Gastrique! Pretty darn good, actually.

balsamic reduction rosemary5 Spice Marinated Pork Chops w/ Rhubarb Gastrique

After I made the rhubarb simple syrup I had some leftover well cooked and sweetened rhubarb (from here on out to be known as schmoo) that I couldn’t bear to throw out. Don’t ask me why, I still have several pounds of uncut rhubarb languishing in the refrigerator, but unable to toss the stuff I decided to make a gastrique—a sauce made with a sugar/vinegar reduction. Tangy and not too sweet.

I used balsamic vinegar but read that red wine vinegar is best and in the end I had to add a tablespoon or so of cider vinegar to get the sauce as tangy as I wanted it.

Rhubarb Gastrique

½ cup Balsamic Vinegar (I used the Trader Joe’s cheap stuff, which is great for any balsamic reduction or sauce)
+ 1 TBSP cider vinegar added at the end

½ cup sugar (I used less than recommended in most of the recipes I perused because the rhubarb schmoo from the simple syrup was already quite sweet)

½ cup water

2 sprigs rosemary

About a cup of rhubarb schmoo plus another 1 ½ cups fresh finely chopped rhubarb

Simmer vinegar, sugar, water, and rosemary until liquid is reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes). Remove rosemary and add fresh rhubarb, cook an additional ten minutes. Add rhubarb schmoo and cook, stirring regularly, until a thick sauce is formed. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste.

The tangy subtle sweetness of this sauce immediately made me think of barbeque. I marinated some chops in a 5 spice marinade (again from Trader Joe’s, I guess I buy a lot of my condiments there). I was going to grill them but the fellow got home late and I didn’t want to disturb the neighbors with the smoke and inevitable clanging late night grilling can bring so I just broiled the chops.

Served with sautéed red chard and red onions fresh from the farmers market, and some quinoa. The quinoa was the perfect grain for this meal- flavorful enough to stand up to and compliment the gastrique.

rhubarb gastrique pork chop quinoa

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