Today California Wineries are considered to be good producers, making decent award winning wines. Had it not been for prohibition, California Wineries would be among the best in the world. Developing the vine takes time. Prohibition brought a halt to that in many ways.
Some wineries managed to stay open but switching out their grapes for non-wine-making grapes such as the Concord Grape. This grape was used to make raisins, grape juice and jams. Other wineries continued to grow wine grapes, under strict supervision, for sacramental purposes. And then there was California’s attempt to save the vinegar industry. Intended to create a wine vinegar, wineries began producing a grape jelly called “Vine-go”. This jelly wasn’t wine – yet. Consumers could buy the jelly, take it home, add water and wait. The jelly would ferment into a strong wine in about two months. Not exactly a good wine, but it did the trick.
Today we celebrate National Bootleggers Day. While this really refers to bootleg whiskey, I don’t think wine should be overlooked. After all, with the passage of Prohibition, thousands were thrust into the unemployment lines. Thank goodness this was ahead of the Depression, and wineries were able to open their doors in 1933. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before people could not afford to drink. This led to the production of cheap wines, a fad that continued through the 1960s. It also explains why most Americans don’t understand good wines.
To celebrate our ability to buy wines without fear, I thought we’d take a different approach to National Bootleggers Day. This is a very boozy, deep purple dish perfect with a good bottle of wine (for drinking). Happy Bootleggers Day!
Burgundy Pork Tenderloin
1/2 whole White Onion
1 Celery Rib
1 lb Pork Tenderloin
Salt to taste
Black Pepepr to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
2 cups Red Wine
1 package Brown Gravy Mix
Rosemary Springs, garnish
Heat oven to 350-degrees.
Peel onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half for another use. Peel remaining half, thinly slice and set aside. Clean, trim and chop celery, set aside.
Place pork in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, and sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Top with onion and celery. Carefully pour wine around the roast.
Place in the heated oven and cook for about 45 minutes.
Remove roast from oven, transfer to a serving platter. With a slotted spoon, remove onions from the roasting pan. Spread out over the roast. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Strain remaining pan drippings into a sauce pan. Sprinkle gravy mix over the drippings, whisk to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.
Slice roast, garnish platter with rosemary. Serve with wine gravy and enjoy.
Great with Young Peas and Red-skin Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Peas with Shallots and Garlic
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Butter
1 can Young Peas, drained
In a small food processor or hand-held chopper, mince shallot and garlic together. Set aside until ready to use.
In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat until just beginning to brown. Dump shallot-garlic mixture into pan and stir with a wooden spoon until shallots are tender, about 2-3 minutes.
Add drained Le Sueur Peas and GENTLY stir to blend the peas, shallots, garlic and butter together. (Take care not to “mash” the tender peas).
Lower heat and continue to warm until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer peas to a warm serving bowl, serve table-side and enjoy.
Creamy Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
2 Lbs small Red Potatoes
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Sour Cream
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Scrub and quarter the potatoes. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
In same pan, combine butter, cream and sour cream over low heat. Add potatoes and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer mashed potatoes to a warm serving bowl or platter. Serve and enjoy.