Somewhere, sometimes I have mentioned we have a lot of pears going on at the moment. Sort of a peary month for us. I also asked a while ago for inspiration what to do with so many pears? The great thing about the food blogosphere: everyone has a suggestion! We opted for a proximity one (Belgium), easy one (we own the book) and got started with the boozy pears. Ok, they are not actually called boozy pears although I think this name will probably sound a lot better on a restaurant menu. On the other hand they also might sell out.
Diverging. Back to the pears. Poached in spiced red wine. And before I get to the actual recipe and taste (yum!) just look at that colour. Simply wonderful. Sometimes, nature is really better than art. Take a couple of pears, flesh creamy white, mix with red wine and you’ll get simply beautiful deep red pears. Stunning.
Now we didn’t serve the pears as suggested with a ‘festive game dinner, such as roast boar or venison’ … not lot of boar and venison around I am afraid. But we did enjoy them in a very festive way.
Poires au Vin Rouge (serves 6)
6 firm ripe large pears, peeled, stems left intact
1 bottle (750ml) fruity red wine, such as a Californian Burgundy
1 lemon, peeled, sliced
4 whole cloves (aren’t cloves just simple perfection?)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 cinnamon sticks
1 strip lemon zest
6 fresh mint leaves
Place the pears and the wine in a non stick pan. Be sure the wine completely covers the pears. Stud 4 of the lemon slices with the cloves, and add them with all the other ingredients (except the mint leaves) to the pears and wine. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered till the pears are soft (25 to 35 min)
Transfer the pears to a serving bowl. Reduce the poaching liquid over high heat, to concentrate the flavors. Pour over the pears and let cool.
Let the pears sit for a few hours or, even better, over night. Then serve them at room temperature with your festive dinner, and plenty of sweet spiced wine.