A is for Apple. It’s also for Autumn. And Awesome, too, because that’s what sipping hard cider in the crisp chill of fall is. This month, four local cider-makers—Skarsgard Farms, New Mexico Hard Cider, Santa Fe Cider Works and Sandia Hard Cider—share with us a favorite dish, paired with a hard cider they’ve pressed from our local earth’s autumn bounty. Ah yes, A is for Artisanal-cider and Adult-beverage, too. Cheers!
Skarsgard Farms Green Chile Sausage Links with Apple Peach Compote
Paired with Farmer Monte’s Hard Cider
1.5 pounds Skarsgard Farms Green Chile Sausage Links (or the pork sausage links of your choice)
Enough to submerge sausage: water, broth, beer, apple juice, or hard cider
2-4 small or medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
2-4 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
2 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon organic pasture butter (or butter of your choice)
1/2 cup Skarsgard Farms Gala Apple Juice (or apple juice of your choice)
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
To (perfectly) cook links:
Place all of the sausage links at the bottom of a stockpot. They can be frozen or thawed. Next, pour your choice of water, broth, beer, apple juice, or hard cider over the links until they are totally submerged. Insert a food thermometer into the liquid and turn on the heat, but do not allow the liquid to boil. Bring the temperature up to 145 degrees (the safe temp for pork) and hold it at that temperature for 20 minutes. In that time, you can fire up the grill or heat a skillet so you can finish your links with a quick sear for some nice char marks. Do not allow them to cook on the grill or skillet, though, or they will dry out too much.
Toss sliced apples and peaches, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and salt together in a bowl. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the peach and apple mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until fruit is golden brown and caramelized, about 5–10 minutes.
Add the apple juice to the skillet, reduce heat to low, and bring to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally (and adding splashes of water if liquid reduces too quickly) until juices are syrupy and fruit is tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then stir in lemon juice.
Serve the Apple Peach Compote over the sausage links and pair with a pint of Farmer Monte’s Hard Cider.
Skarsgard Farms, 3435 Stanford Dr. NE in Albuquerque. 505.681.4060. skarsgardfarms.deliverybizpro.com.
Maple-Cider Glazed Pork Chops from New Mexico Cider
Paired with New Mexico Hard Cider Tart Cherry or Crabby Pear
1 pound pork chops, bone in
2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the glaze:
1 cup fresh apple cider
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon powdered red chile
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
Cook pork in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil, season pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cook both sides until golden brown. Combine the cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard, ginger and chile in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to one cup. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, boil until thickened slightly and glossy, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. Five minutes before your pork chops are finished cooking, brush on the glaze.
Pair with either NMHC Tart Cherry, which is a semi-sweet cider with a touch of tart cherries giving the cider a tangy note with a clean apple finish. Or our new Crabby Pear Cider, which is made from Santa Fe crab apples and Chimayo pears; it cider has a slight tang and a smooth clean pear body.
New Mexico Hard Cider, 505 Cerrillos Road, A105 in Santa Fe. 505.231.0632. nmcider.com.
Santa Fe Cider Works’ Cider Different Smothered Pork Chops
Recipe by Chef Milton Villarrubia III of Second Street Brewery
Paired with Santa Fe Cider Works’ The Cider Different
8 double-cut pork chops
4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning, recipe follows
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup olive oil
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
4 cups thinly sliced onions
6 pounds savoy or napa cabbage
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups The Cider Different
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 bay leaves
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dry marjoram
1/3 cup paprika
¼ cup salt
¼ cup tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons dried thyme
Season both sides of the pork chops with the Creole seasoning and kosher salt. Lightly dredge in the flour. Heat the olive oil in a large rondo over high heat. Add the pork chops, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops and transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining pork chops and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the apples and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, The Cider Different, caraway seeds, bay leaves, salt, pepper and herbs. Cook uncovered until sauce comes to a boil. Add the pork chops, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pork chops are fork-tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Pair with Santa Fe Cider Works’ The Cider Different, a still, unfiltered, artisanal hard apple cider made from the fresh-pressed juice of a variety of sweet, tart, and aromatic apples, fermented with champagne yeast. It’s semi-sweet and fruit forward with a dry finish.
Santa Fe Cider Works, 4363 Center Place, Unit 9, in Santa Fe. 575.513.7329. Santafeciderworks.org.
Sandia Hard Cider’s Big Raz Glazed Chicken
Paired with Sandia Hard Cider’s Big Raz
For the glaze:
8 ounces Sandia Hard Cider Company Big Raz (and leave 8 ounces Big Raz for the cook!)
½ cup local honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut up
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all the Big Raz glaze ingredients and whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens. In ungreased medium-sized baking dish, place chicken pieces and brush with olive oil, salt.
Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, until golden brown. Drain fat from dish.
Spoon glaze over chicken and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes until glazed.
Serve over a bed of long-grain rice. Pair with a pint of Sandia Hard Cider’s Big Raz.
The Craftroom, 2809 Broadbent Parkway NE in Albuquerque. 505.717.1985. facebook.com/TheCraftroomABQ and facebook.com/sandiahardcider.
Compiled by Mia Rose Poris