This weekend I plan to make a new dish -- Beer Braised Pork Chops with Onions, Red Cabbage, Apples and Currants. I'm doubting whether I'll be able to find fresh currants. Thoughts on using frozen if I can find them? If can't find any version of currants, suggestions on what berry to substitute? The recipe did not specify a particular color of currant.


TIA
Original Post
Thanks for the help guys. Don't really have time nor inclination for mail order. I've only looked at the "generic" chains near my house. I'm hoping I can find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Fresh Market, but I wanted to have a back up plan.

Danyull, this isn't a lengthy braise -- brown chops, cook some of the other ingredients, combine everything with the beer in a dutch oven and cook in something like 300 or 350 oven covered, then uncovered for about 15 minutes at 400. It's a new recipe, so we'll see.
If you can't find currants in your area, you night not be able to find good quality raisins either. That said, a dark milder flavoured raisin like flame would be an OK substitute for the flavor, but texture is a bit different, larger and not as firm.
Most good supermarkets will have black currant jelly. The recipe you are using probably won't be bothered by the added sweetness, and since you are cooking it all anyway, it should blend in and still give currant flavor. Alternatively, maybe just pour some creme de cassis in with the beer?
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
You can get either black or red currants flash frozen by mail order. Their flavor is pretty unique.

Ph


+1...it takes 5 minutes to order. We did this once and no problems.


W + A,

It isn't the time it takes to order them that I don't have, it is the time it would take to have them delivered. I'm making the dish tomorrow, and not really interested in overnighting them.
quote:
Originally posted by Seaquam:
If you can't find currants in your area, you night not be able to find good quality raisins either. That said, a dark milder flavoured raisin like flame would be an OK substitute for the flavor, but texture is a bit different, larger and not as firm.


Seaq,

Though the recipe doesn't specify the berry currant vs. the Zante currant (raisin), it is indexed under berries rather than raisins which leads me to believe it is the former. I also found several other recipes with similar ingredients that call for currant jelly (as Redhawk suggested). I can find the Zante currant. Strangely, I have to keep my eyes out for Sultanas too as an upcoming recipe calls for those. I'm learning all kinds of things about raisins these days.
Made the dish last night and thought I'd give an update since everyone was so helpful. Looked at 4 different places and couldn't find frozen currants. Found frozen Paw Paw pulp though (really?). I used both fresh and dried cranberries, and blackberries. The cranberries worked the best as they provided some "tart" that the recipe needed. Overall the dish was OK. I think I pre-cooked the apples too long, which led to them breaking down too much when assembled dish was cooked and thus not giving enough delineation of flavors/texture. Pork turned out tasty. We had both beer and Riesling with the meal. I much preferred the Riesling (as did most I think).
Eyes - pork chops with apples and cabbage is a pretty standard middle - Europe dish. My grandfather grew three different kinds of currants in his garden outside of Berlin, and they ate a lot of pork with fresh cabbage or sauerkraut.

The addition of currents is almost arbitrary - you could probably make the dish without them. They're really a summer fruit, whereas apples are a fall fruit, so you could use other fall fruits if you wanted, but I'd avoid the jelly - that's juice, pectin, and a hell of a lot of sugar. Currants aren't particularly sweet, so adding sugar wouldn't be the point of your recipe.

As far as the apples breaking down - a lot depends on the variety of apple. Just like there's a difference between Riesling and Merlot, there's a big difference between say a Braeburn and a Macoun.

In any event, I have a lot of cabbage in the fridge and also a pork loin, so I'm making something very similar this week.

And like you, I'm pouring Riesling! The perfect pork wine.

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