You Know The Way to Move Me, Cherry

Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Cherry Mustard Glaze and LaVelle Cabernet Sauvignon

The closest town to our country place is six miles away and has a population of 1700; not exactly a cook's shopping mecca. The quickie-mart is good for grabbing milk or other basics, but for most groceries, it's a 30 mile one-way trip. This time of year though, our little Saturday Farmer's Market is stuffed with so much Willamette Valley goodness that fewer of those long excursions are necessary.

Last week at the farmer's market, we reacquainted ourselves with Biancalana Pork Growers who had several cuts of pork and their own sausages for sale. Biancalana is a small Willamette Valley family farm who raise pork humanely, and with no growth hormones, antibiotics or GMO's. At Biancalana, pigs roam widely, dining on Oregon's famous blackberry vines, grasses and other natural vegetation, and a feed of corn, grain and soybean.

We picked up a couple of these 1 1/2" thick boneless chops at an exceptionally reasonable price for such lovely meat. Grilled over charcoal with a seductive fruity spicy glaze, these chops are downright inspirational. We'll be buying our pork from Biancalana from now on.
LaVelle 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

LaVelle 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was a terrific match to the grilled pork. Its complexity and depth held up to the smoky meat, and the deep, dark fruit notes were great with the cherry sauce. The mid-range tannic structure stands up nicely throughout the length of a meal, as good after the last bite as the first. LaVelle is in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley, but the grapes for their Cab are from the Columbia Valley of Washington.

In another month we'll be in cherry glory in Oregon. It'll be another couple of years before the cherry trees My Baby planted last year are producing, but cherry preserves are at the top of the list when they do. This cherry preserve based glaze is simple, but really dolls up grilled meat. I use this sauce and its variations on grilled fish, chicken and beef.

Cherry Mustard Herb Glaze
1/4 cup Cherry Preserves (Bonn Mamon brand is terrific)
1-2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Apply to meat after flipping on the grill, spreading it to the edges.

It was really important with this nice thick meat to be sure to give it a good 10-minute wait after grilling to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat and for it to finish cooking. This was the most succulent pork chop I remember having.


  1. Holy moly that is one heavenly lookin' pork chop.

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  2. These pork chops look fantastic!!!! I have never mixed sweet and savory but this has inspired me. Thank you..

  3. This is scrumptious - now I know what to do with the last of my winter pork chops. The wine advice was grand. This is a grand time of year, isn't it?

  4. Looks so good!! I love pork chops and we never make them since my hubby doesn't eat pork :(

  5. Oh I wish there was a local farm around here where I could buy organic pork... My mouth is just watering looking at this, but somehow buying some pork from the store wouldn't satisfy this craving! Lucky lady. :)

  6. These chops look so good, so succulent! I love the glaze - never have tried cherries like that before - what a wonderful idea! The wine looks like an excellent choice, too.

  7. Love the cherry mustard glaze...Yumm!

  8. Oh how I miss my Oregon cherries and strawberries out here in the desert! Those chops look beautiful, and love that the pigs are raised humanely.

  9. Congrats on the top 9 , your dish looks sumptuous !
    Definitely going to try this out !

  10. Congratulations on making Foodbuzz Top 9 today. Beautiful pictures!

  11. Wow! Those chops look perfect!

  12. Gorgeous dish and congrats on the top 9!

  13. This sounds like an interesting flavor combination. Yum. I bet I could use other jam flavors too.

  14. (insert drooling sound) Nice!

  15. This dish looks amazing! I'm absolutely going to try it.
    I'm a big fan of pork and cherry.

  16. You can find these chops and more at the Brownsville Farmers Market Sat 9am-12pm from Biancalana Pork Growers


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