Real balsamic vinegar can be as expensive as a fine wine. A lot of what you find in your local supermarket is regular vinegar to which flavorings, grape juice and color have been added.
Traditional balsamic is made from boiling the juice of trebbiano and lambrusco grapes. The resulting syrup reduction is aged for at least 12 years in old wine barrels or casks. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a commercial product which imitates the traditional. It uses wine vinegar with coloring and thickeners.
Balsamic is used in vinaigrette salad dressings, dips and marinades. It can also be made into a sauce all by itself by cooking it into a reduction. And that’s how it’s used in the following meal recipe.
This Balsamic Pork recipe can use any kind of pork. It also would work with chicken or beef. Along with boneless pork chops or pork loin medallions goes frozen potato and onion pierogi as the dumplings. Then you add a green vegetable, like green beans. For added color, add yellow wax beans to the mix. You end up with a complete meal using only 420 calories and 47 grams of carbohydrate. It’s all ready in about 30 minutes. Makes four servings.
Equipment: a skillet or sauté pan, a medium to large sauce pan
- 1 package (12 count) frozen potato and onion filled pierogi
- 12 oz. green and/or wax beans, trimmed (should equal about 3 cups)
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin or boneless chops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, parsley or tarragon.
- Fill the saucepan 3/4 full of water and put on medium high heat for the pierogi.
- Slice pork tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick medallions or cut chops into two equal pieces. Then cover with wax paper or plastic and pound into 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in skillet and cook pork about two to three minutes on each side. Remove to plate and cover with foil.
- Cook pierogi according to package directions and drain.
- Add green (and/or wax) beans to skillet and sauté. You may need to add a little more oil. Remove and divide among your serving plates.
- If any fat is left in the skillet, drain it off, leaving behind the fond on the bottom of the pan. Add the balsamic and turn up the heat to high, using a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to scrape up the fond from the bottom of the pan. Cook until it is reduced by half.
- Arrange pierogi, beans and pork on the plates and pour balsamic reduction over all. Sprinkle herbs over the top of the plates and serve.
Posted on December 2nd, 2010 by James
Filed under: recipes