Gary Miller
September 20, 2017 | Gary Miller

Backward L Newsletter - Food for Thought - September 2017

Food for Thought - September 2017
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Miller Wine Works
Gary Miller
You've got the wine, now what?
A great bottle of Miller Wine Works 2013 Zinfandel is the perfect accompaniment to your dinner. Unfortunately, unless you attended the CIA like Gary Miller, what to make to pair with it might induce anxiety or result in a kitchen disaster. Luckily, Gary has decided to dedicate this issue to sharing one of his favorite recipes to pair with his Zin and help your dinner score a win.  
2013 Zinfandel Buy Now
Our 2013 Zinfandel won a Gold Medal at the California Zinfandel Championship and was scored a 91 with Wine Enthusiast. It's not so secretly great for drinking. Did you know it makes a killer secret ingredient to your BBQ sauce?


(We like LaBrea Ciabatta Rolls but your bread of choice is fine)


1 each - fresh Pork Belly  (10-12#) ( skin scored if you want cracklins )

3 T - Star Anise

3 T - Black Peppercorns

3T - Fennel Seeds

2 T - Cloves

2 T - Ground Cinnamon

3 T - Coriander Seeds

Grind all spices to a smooth powder in a spice grinder and then add 2 rounded tablespoons of dried red chili flakes to the mixture.  Stir briefly to homogenize.  Thoroughly coat the meat side of the belly ( ie. not the skin side ) with the spice mixture and refrigerate loosely covered overnite, meat side up.  The next day, to a braising pan add the following vegetables and bay leaves.

3 ea. - Large, sweet yellow onions, peeled and quartered.

1# - Green garlic cut into 1" sections.

1/2 head - celery

5 each - fresh bay leaves

3 L - Apple Cider

Lay the belly on top of the vegetables skin-side up, and set the pan on the middle rack of your oven.  Add enough apple cider to just come to where the skin meets the meat.  Do not cover the skin.  Set oven at 475*, and cook about 30 minutes, or until skin starts to bubble and crisp.  Turn heat down to 300* and braise for 2 1/2 hours.  Remove from the oven and put belly on a rack or sheet pan to cool for an hour.  Reserve the braising liquid and the vegetables.  Peel off the skin and reserve for cracklins if desired.  When cool refrigerate loosely covered overnight.  The next morning separate the meat from the belly and chop or shred as desired.



4 Cloves - Garlic, minced

3 each - Shallots, minced

2 Bottles - Miller Wine Works 2013 Zinfandel - reduced by 3/4.

2 C - brown sugar

1 C - dark molasses

1 C - ketchup

3/4 C - Rice Wine Vinegar

3/4 C - Apple Cider Vinegar

2 qts. - Braising liquid and vegetables ( reserve remaining )

Sweat garlic and shallots in a little olive oil.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add onions and garlic from the braising liquid and puree all.  Return to heat and simmer for another 30 minutes while adjusting seasoning and consistency.  Add more vinegar or braising liquid as desired.



1 # - Dried blueberries reconstituted in apple cider

2 bunches - scallions sliced small on the bias - add to pork mix

2 boxes -  California Crisp Dried Blood Orange slices, pulsed in spice grinder to rough consistency ( ie. brittle )

Assemble paninis with a layer of braised pork belly.  Sauce as desired w/ Asian BBQ sauce.  Top with 2 T plumped dried blueberries, and 1 T orange brittle.

Heat and press on panini press.

Cut into four pieces for small plates.


Serve w/ Miller Wine Works 2013 Zinfandel


If cooking a dinner for friends is out of the question even with the guidance of our classically trained chef and wine maker, we still have you covered. Why not follow us on Facebook to find out the dates of our Fall Food Nights (starting in October) and leave the cooking to the professionals?  We'll leave the wine drinking to you.
We here at Miller Wine Works value your patronage and hope to see you at our tasting room in Sutter Creek in the very near future!

EMAIL us or call (209) 267 -5457 with any questions or comments.

Buy It Now
Bouquet of Rosé Sale
Limited cases of our Rosé are still available  
$96/ full case
(that's a $156 savings)
Miller Wine Works
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