Aronia berries are awesome. I avoided them for a while because they'd been branded a 'superfood', but I was convinced by a glass of hard cider from Distillery Lane, fermented with aronia berries present. The unpleasant astringency of the raw fruit becomes a mellow tannic drying after fermentation.
So when Dylan (of Dylan's Oyster Cellar, where they're working on some fabulous Keepwell Vinegar mignonettes) mentioned that his cousin at Chester River Aronia was trying to move some serious weight in berries, we knew what to do. We are currently the proud owners of hundreds of gallons of tart, tannic, berry vinegar.
The resemblance in mouthfeel to some grape wines is remarkable. As we were casting about for dinner ideas the other night, I thought of beurre rouge, which uses both red wine and red wine vinegar. The aronia berry vinegar has qualities of both, so we substituted it 100% for all liquid ingredients. Delicious!
Aronia Berry Beurre Rouge
1 larger shallot
1 sprig tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 cup Aronia Berry Vinegar
1 stick of cold butter in 1/2" dice
Mince the shallot up nice and small. Bring the vinegar up to a boil with the shallot, tarragon, and bay leaf. Reduce at a simmer until it's jammy and almost dry; there should only be a few tablespoons left. Turn the heat off and whisk the butter in, a few dice at a time. It should emulsify readily.
Serve with scallops, duck, beef, or just a nice pile of potatoes, mushrooms, and onions.