4 large pears, peeled and cored
2 cups red wine
1 cup sugar
Cut a small slice from the bottom of each of the pears so they will stand up straight in the saucepan without falling over.
In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears, bring the wine and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring well.
Once the mixture reaches a boil, cook for 3 more minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and gently place the pears, standing up, into the saucepan, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot wine-and-sugar mixture.
Place the pan back on the stove and cook the pears over medium-low heat—15 to 20 minutes for a firm texture or 30 to 40 minutes for a softer texture—braising the pears with the wine-and-sugar mixture every 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pears stand in the wine sauce until they reach room temperature. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each of the pears to a dessert dish, and top with plenty of the wine sauce.
Chef’s Note: For an elegant presentation, serve the pears with sweet whipped cream or whipped mascarpone cheese, and top with toasted chopped pistachio nuts.