Cuvée Napa

bruschetta cuvee napaCuvée’s assorted bruschetta served family style

It’s wine picking season, and where better to celebrate than Napa Valley? I recently had the opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the crush season at River Terrace Inn, a boutique hotel in the town of Napa. Nestled along Napa’s riverfront, the center of the resort property features Cuvée, a warm and welcoming restaurant with a distinctive living room ambience. The kitchen, bar and dining room encircle a large patio festively adorned with string lamps and heated by open fire pits – thoroughly conducive to enjoying an al fresco early autumn evening while tasting the extensive wines and craft beers on offer. Inside at the open kitchen, new executive chef Brendan Mica, prepares signature high country cuisine with farm to table ingredients and herbs and vegetables harvested from his on-site garden. Farm Fresh Pasta with Burrata, Fava Beans, Lemon and Arugula vies for attention with the likes of Duck Confit and Roasted Farro or Striped Bass in Tomato Broth with Chick Pea Ragout. We had the Braised Barbeque Pork Shoulder with White Cheddar Polenta and Charred Broccoli Rabe, and with each bite were grateful we were meat eaters. It was so good, I came home with the recipe and plan to make it myself:

Barbeque Pork Shoulder with White Cheddar Polenta and Charred Broccoli Rabe

Courtesy of Chef Brendan Mica – adapted for 4 servings

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups orange juice
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, smashed
8 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup favorite barbeque sauce

2 cups whole milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup polenta
1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Salt to taste

1 pound broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
Sherry vinegar
Grapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pork:
Heat the oven to 250°F. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place in a Dutch oven with the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook until fork tender, about 4 hours, turning once an hour. Remove from liquid and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with BBQ sauce. Broil until brown and caramelized.

For the polenta:
Bring the milk and stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Stir in the cheese and salt to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil Add the broccoli rabe and blanch 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and cool. Remove and pat dry. Drizzle with vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct high heat until charred. To serve, spoon the polenta over serving plates. Top with a portion of pork and broccoli.

4 thoughts on “Cuvée Napa

  1. Inspiration from great chefs is one of the delights of enjoying cooking for our family and friends. A fantastic recipe!

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