Pork Medallions with Pears in a Mustard-Riesling Sauce

Pork Medallions with Pears in a Mustard-Riesling Sauce

“If you do not have a a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a good dish and utterly debase a noble one.”  Julia Child

My good friend, Rebecca, is a wine savant. She’s one of those types who can sniff a glass and tell you the mineral content of the soil used to produce the grapes. She is always my go-to person when I need a wine to complement a particular dish.

I was discussing this pork, pear and German-style mustard recipe idea with her which sounded really tasty for this time of year. She suggested I use a good Riesling to cook and serve with the dish. She said the Riesling would be an appropriate counterpoint to the German mustard in the dish. “The wines and foods of a country just go together,” she noted.

“Many people assume Riesling’s are syrupy sweet. Actually a good Riesling is complex with hints of almond, honey and spice. It can be challenging, for instance, pairing hot and spicy dishes with wine but Rieslings are the perfect foil,” says Rebecca.

One tight truism is to use wines in your cooking that you would enjoy drinking. Would you decant those little bottles of “cooking wine” found in your grocer’s spice aisles and serve them to your guests? Don’t think so? Then, likewise, don’t cook with them. If you do not like the taste of a wine, you will not like the dish you choose to use it in. There are some great and delicious bargain wines to be had these days. For the same price as a “cooking wine”, you can select a wine that would be delicious to cook with as well as to enjoy with the meal.

I’ll share one of the best tips Rebecca ever gave me: Freeze leftover wine for cooking. Do you have a big red that must be consumed that evening? Not necessarily. Freeze that last 1/2 cup and use it next week’s Coq au Vin. Certainly freezing wine inhibits the wine’s complexity but it is wonderful to thaw and cook with.

Recipe: Pork Medallions with Pears in a Mustard-Riesling Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 firm-ripe Bosc pears, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2-inch thick medallions
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup Reisling
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain German-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme plus extra sprigs for garnish, optional


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed, large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté pears until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate, reserving juices in skillet.
  2. Season pork medallions with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper then coat both sides with flour, sprinkling off excess. Reheat juices to medium high heat. Sauté pork medallions in batches until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add stock, wine, mustards, sugar and remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet. Bring to a low boil and reduce mixture by half, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Return pork and thyme, if using, and juices to skillet and simmer, flipping pork once, until pork is just cooked through (145 degrees). Add pears to pan to gently reheat.
  4. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired, and serve.

Time: 18 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4-6

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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