ou might not automatically consider meat and fruit to be perfect flavor companions, but recall such classic dishes as lemon pepper chicken, duck à l'orange, turkey with cranberry sauce, and pork with apples. These familiar meat and fruit pairings are just the tip of the culinary iceberg. Fruit can be a magical accompaniment with meat, from game meats, to poultry and everyday favorites, like pork.
Here are some guidelines for creating tasty meat and fruit combinations:
- The gamey flavor of venison is a good match for flavors like apples, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, raisins, pomegranates, and dates. Try Venison and Cherry Pâté en Croûte, which uses both dried cherries and cherry liqueur.
- Tender rabbit has a very subtle flavor, which is enhanced by apples, currants, citrus fruits, plums, and prunes. Rabbit and lemon are married together in this Greek Rabbit and Lemon Ragout.
- Hearty lamb can stand up to both fresh and dried fruits with bolder flavors, such as apricots, cranberries, dates, figs, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins. Sweeten lamb shoulder with dried apricots when you make this Middle Eastern-Style Lamb Stew with Dried Apricots.
- Chicken usually plays well with others, including fruits like apples, apricots, bananas, cranberries, currants, grapes, citrus fruits, mangoes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins. Orange zest and juice are paired with chicken in this recipe for Braised Chicken with Eggplant and Orange.
- Pheasant, like chicken, tastes great with apples, lemons, oranges, and raisins. For something different, go for the combination of Pheasant with Dates, Quince and Pinot Noir Sauce.
- Moist and flavorful squab is often paired with cherries, figs, lemons, pears, and prunes, or fig balsamic vinegar.
- Quails might be tiny, but their mighty flavor can stand up to apples, apricots, currants, figs, grapes, lemons, oranges, pears, and pomegranates. Dried figs are used with quail in Quail Stuffed with Corn Bread and Figs with Molasses Vinaigrette.
- Mouth-watering duck was made to pair with fruits, like blueberries, cherries, cranberries, apricots, currants, dates, figs, citrus fruits, mangoes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, prunes, and grapes. Seared Duck Breast with Pear Chutney not only has pears, but raisins and orange juice.
- Pork is friendly to fruits like apples, cranberries, strawberries, currants, dried cherries, dried figs, mangoes, quince, plums, pineapple, pears, peaches, and apricots. See how lemon brightens up pork in Citrus Spiced Roasted Pork Loin Roast.
- Delicate veal pairs nicely with apples, figs, lemons, limes, and oranges. When figs are in season, try Veal Roast with Fresh Figs.
- Foie gras is an all-time fruit lover. Its buttery flavor is balanced by all kinds of fruits, like apples, apricots, cherries, cranberries, dried figs, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, and strawberries. For a simple preparation, try Sautéed Foie Gras with Grape Sauce.