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Savory Baked Apple with Port Wine Sauce

3 oz shallots (about 4) coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal
1/4 cup brandy
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large baking apples
4 whole spinach leaves
Port Wine Sauce

In a skillet, saute shallots in butter until translucent. Crumble
pork and veal into skillet and saute until bronwed. Drain off
excess fat. Add brandy, thyme, salt, and peper and cook until
alcohol has evaporated.

Cut a 1-inch cap from the top of each apple; reserve caps. Using
a melon baller, hollow out core and some of the flesh of the apples.

Fill each cavity with one-fourth of the meat mixture and top with
a spinach leaf. Replace caps and arrange apples in a shallow baking
pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until
apples are tender yet firm enought ot hold their shape. Spoon a
pool of Port Wine Sauce onto individual serving plates. Top with
apples and serve. Serves 4.


Port Wine Sauce

1 1/2 cups port wine
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup veal or beef brown stock
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey

Heat wine and cinnamon to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 5
minutes. Remove cinnamon. Add stock. Dissolve cornstarch in
lemon juice and stir into wine mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in honey and serve. Makes
1 1/2 cups.

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