February 01, 2014

Pork Chops with Balsamic Cherry Preserves

I was looking around the kitchen, trying to decide what I wanted to make for dinner tonight, and my eye rested on the pork chops that I had bought ... beautiful, thick-cut pork chops. I had wanted to grill them and then make a sauce to pour on top. Usually I'd make a mustard-blue cheese sauce or another creamy sauce during the winter, but I wasn't really in the mood for that so I went down to the pantry shelf where I keep all my jars of preserves that I make during the summer and fall harvest.

I had made a small batch, about 4 half-pints, of a Balsamic Cherry Preserves (and I had never really known exactly where I would use it) but today I thought ... well, pork and apples go well together, pork and other fruits go well together, why not pork and balsamic cherry preserves? I just heated the canned Balsamic Cherry preserves in a small saucepan on the stovetop until it was heated through. It gets more liquid as it heats, but if you wanted, you could add a splash of white wine to thin it out to a thinner sauce-like consistency.When the pork chops were done, I just poured the sauce over top.

IT WAS DELICIOUS!! Definitely how I will be using the other jars. And I wanted to share the recipe for the Balsamic Cherry Preserves. I made this recipe last summer when our Cherry tree was abundant, we were overflowing with cherries, and I didn't want to use ALL of them to make jam. This sauce is something I would absolutely make again. The mix of dark, sweet cherries and a tart, tangy balsamic vinegar is almost decadent. This is nice as a sauce for Pork or other savoury dishes (Roast Beef comes to mind), but would also be really nice spread on buttered toast (or maybe even over ice cream or yogurt).

Balsamic Cherry Preserves


8 Cups             Sweet Cherries, stemmed and pitted and quartered/halved
1/4 Cup           Water
1 Cup              Sugar
1/4 Cup           Balsamic Vinegar
2 pinches         Salt


In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the cherries and a splash of water. Bring to a boil, stirring and crushing the cherries with the back of your spoon. This breaks the fruit up and releases juices.

Once boiling, add the sugar, vinegar and salt. Decrease the heat slightly and cook at what I'd consider a medium boil - not going crazy, but more than a simmer. Frequently stir and crush the cherries. Cook for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let your pot sit for five minutes. Skim off any foam, and stir one final time.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, or refrigerate.


These preserves are a bit looser than a classic jam. Cherries are low pectin fruits so unless you were to add pectin, it’s a more syrupy kind of final product.

Try it with a vanilla bean cooked with the cherries. Also try using a stick of cinnamon or some finely grated orange zest.

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