When Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Camilla suggested the November Wine Pairing Weekend theme be about the Feast Nearby this spoke to my personal choices and philosophy. So I give you Crockpot Chile Verde and Spangler Cab Franc.
We were “locavores” before the trendy term was coined. I have long held the belief that eating locally leads to better ingredients, better health, and builds the community through supporting local farmers. Even better if you have your own garden. Just a few rows of potted herbs on a window seal can improve your food and your mood.
When we lived in Little Rock, Arkansas we grew veggies and herbs in the backyard. We were members of a CSA. Our neighborhood had its own farmers market and I knew the people who raised everything on my plate. We believe that God intended for animals to be eaten, but He also intended for them to be treated with respect. We could not bear the thought of an animal suffering for us to have a meal. So we chose between being vegetarians and being very informed and selective about our sources of meat. I knew the people who raised my pork, chicken, beef. I saw the fields where the animals lived normal lives. I know their deaths were respectful. Wanting to be more of that process we even raised rabbits ourselves. Something that wasn’t easy but was meaningful in so many ways.
When we left Arkansas to move to Oregon I knew I would be have the opportunity to support another type of farmer – grape growers. Living in Willamette Valley means I now know the people who grow the grapes that become my wine. I know how they treat the land. Our yard is smaller here and the need for reconstructing it has unfortunately meant I cannot garden the way I once did – at least not for a while. I knew I could not give up my lifestyle of eating local. Within two weeks of moving I had joined a CSA midway through their season. Pitchfork and Crow offers me a basket of bounty May – Nov every year and I spend less on groceries in those months. Before the moving van even left Arkansas I had signed up to receive half a hog from Pork for the People. The hogs are raised by 4H kids who are learning about agriculture. Their hogs’ deaths are in a small facility that handles them with care, respect and humanity.
Our Crockpot Chili Verde was created with ingredients form Pitchfork and Crow and Pork for the People. We always get a bumper crop of tomatillos from the CSA this time of year. I freeze them in anticipation of making this hefty Crockpot Chili Verde all winter.
As for the Cab Franc, it is made by Pat Spangler in Roseburg Oregon. Oregon isn’t all about Pinot Noir and every time we visit Southern Oregon we return with a trunk load of wines from our favorite producers. Some people love Cab Franc that got really ripe and shows flavors of darker fruits and floral elements. Some love leaner Cab Francs that are more likely to taste of red fruits with a prominent strain of hatch chili. I love both styles. Cab Franc may not be the first thing you would think of to pair with a dish full of charred pepper flavors. But the lovely chili pepper quality in this Cab Franc from Spangler Vineyards makes it work beautifully.
- 1¼ pounds cubed pork
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 2/12 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 10 oz fresh tomatillos, remove husks and cut in half
- 2 mild peppers - sweet bell, poblano, etc.
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped. Remove seeds for less heat
- 1 chipotle pepper - canned in adobe sauce
- handful of cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Brown pork in saute pan on stovetop. Transfer to heated crock-pot. Add chopped onions, garlic, and spices to pan drippings. Saute until tender and transfer to crock pot. Cut open, not in half the two sweet bell or pablono peppers. Using tongs blacken the outsides over a stovetop grill. Place blackened peppers, chipotle pepper, jalapeño pepper, tomatillo, and cilantro in food processor. Add enough chicken stock to puree Pour puree over pork and onion mixture in crockpot Add remaining chicken stock to crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or until pork is tender. Serve over rice with extra cilantro as garnish if desired.
Now let’s see what the Winepairing Weekend gang came up with this month for The Feast Nearby
- Crock Pot Chili Verde and Spangler Vineyards Cab Franc by Tasting Pour
- Grateful for Ian Brand Wines + Donkey & Goat + Autumn’s Bounty by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Keeping it Local: Heritage Oak Old Vine Carignane and Greek Lamb by Pull That Cork
- Persimmons, Cabernet Franc & Other Harvest Delights by L’occasion
- Roasted Turkey Breast with Morel Mushroom Sauce by Cooking Chat
- Thankful for Local and Seasonal Harvests by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Tradition with a Twist: Cooking Far from Home by The Swirling Dervish
- Wine and Dine: Virginia Viognier and Apricot Spread with Chevre by Grape Experience
- #SoGrateful for a Taste of Local: Food, Wine, Vineyards by Wine Predator