As a cook, I love this time of year. The clocks have changed and the nights are drawing in. Our cooking style is switching to winter mode with the longer cooking methods starting to appear. The whole point of comfort food is to make use feel comfortable during a time of change and this is the time that mother nature puts on the big show and changes her whole wardrobe.


So lets celebrate the changing of the season with a French classic. Poached pears cry out for a bit of pastry and a crème anglaise but why not be a little different and serve them warm with some blue cheese and walnut shortbread.




Poached Pears in Red Wine


Pears hold their shape really well, as long as you don’t allow the liquor to boil once the pears have been added.

Serves 4


4 pears

1 split vanilla pod

1/2 bottle full bodied Hawke’s Bay merlot or cabernet sauvignon

120g sugar

1/2 small cinnamon stick

zest and juice of 1/2 orange

a bunch of fresh thyme

125g butter


  1. Add all except the butter and the pears to a small casserole pan, bring to the boil turn down to a gentle simmer and add the pears. Simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.
  2. Remove the pears and reduce the liquid by half.
  3. Away from the heat, add the butter and agitate for a while.
  4. Put the pears back in and leave until ready to serve.
  5. Warm is the best temperature to serve this dish.




If you going for the blue cheese option then make it a Port from Mills Reef

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