If you’re anything like me you will think chocolate and wine are thee very bestest inventions in the whole entire wide universe. Fact.
They are delicious together. Or separately. For breakfast (well maybe not the wine), brunch, lunch or tea. When you’re happy, sad, bored, stressed or just feel like you deserve a treat. I honestly don’t know what I would ever do if, in a desert island type situation, I had to choose between The Fella and a chocolate-red-wine combo. I’d certainly need a glass of wine to help me mull it over, I may need several in fact.
But… what if you mix these two yummie ingredients with something totally left of field, something completely unusual, something like pork? Am I blowing your mind?! I hope so because this dish is very very special indeed.
This is a recipe from Rachel Allen’s Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends, and it has been a major hit since the first time I made it a few years ago. Initially people are very reluctant to try it, but after a little coaxing and a taste, it gets gobbled up quicker than you can say: but chocolate isn’t supposed to be for dinner! Of course, you don’t actually taste the chocolate; it just adds a beautiful richness and sweetness to the sauce. Midweek dinner this ain’t, this is RICH and filling and unusual, but totally delicious. So I urge to mix it up a bit this weekend and try it, I guarantee you’ll love it, or your money back.
Sweet and sour pork with raisins, pine nuts and chocolate
Makes enough for 6
2 tsps olive oil
1.75 kg shoulder or leg of pork, cut into 3 cm squares
2 brown onions, sliced
200 ml red wine
200 ml chicken stock
salt and pepper
175 ml red wine vinegar
75 g sugar
50 g dark chocolate, chopped
150 g raisins
75 g toasted pine nuts
First off, preheat the oven to 160 °C. I used a large cast iron casserole pot for this dish, to begin heat the oil on the hob on a fairly high heat. Once the pot is hot enough, add the pork and brown on all sides. Next, add the onion and stir for about two minutes or until the onion begins to colour. Add in the red wine and the stock and bring to the boil. Season well with salt and pepper; cover and pop into the hot oven to cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the meat is cooked and is beautifully tender.
While the meat is in the oven, place the red wine vinegar and sugar into a saucepan and stiring until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 2 minutes. Add in the chopped chocolate and stir gently until all of the chocolate melts. Add the raisins and cover; taking off the heat and setting the pot aside to allow the raisins to plump up and absorb all the lovely liquid.
Gently toast the pine nuts in a hot dry pan for about 3 minutes, or as long as it takes them to take on a lovely golden colour, being very careful not to let them burn.
Once the meat is cooked; mix through the vinegar/chocolate mixture. Serve with rice or polenta and topped with toasted pine nuts.
This dish tastes even better as left overs, I think it’s because the flavours develop even further overnight.
Like my friend Mrs Zoom, I struggled big style with the photos for this post; it’s really hard to make a brown stew look in anyway appetising, so you guys are just going to have to trust me on this, but this dish really truly is majorly, superbly, moreishly, terrifically…