Braised Pork Shoulder

Début de l'été 2014
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food and drink

BY: Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic

This is a perfect Sunday afternoon lunch. Serve it with a big green salad to keep things light, and, of course, some chilled cider!

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
4 lbs (2 kg) pork shoulder, bone-in (preferably blade roast, but picnic cut will also work)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) Hungarian paprika (not the hot variety)
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds
1 cup (250 mL) celery, coarsely chopped
2 cups (500 mL) onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) carrots, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh sage, leaves left whole
2 cups (500 mL) hard cider (apple juice or regular cider can also be used)
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
¼ cup (60 mL) water

1 In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium, season pork generously with salt and pepper, brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate.

2 Stir in paprika and fennel for about 30 seconds. Add celery, onions, carrots, garlic and sage and cook for 5 minutes over medium.

3 Return pork to pot along with cider and 1 cup (250 mL) water; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for
3 hours, flipping once per hour until meat is very tender.

4 Carefully remove pork and keep covered with foil. Strain the cooking liquid and return it to pot. Stir cornstarch together with ¼ cup (60 mL) cold water until dissolved. Stir this mixture into cooking liquid. Bring to a boil while stirring, reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking until liquid has reached a sauce consistency. If it has thickened too much, “loosen” it with some water. Re-season sauce if necessary.

5 Slice pork into large pieces and serve with sauce and spätzle (recipe follows).

Serves 6


BUTTERED SPÄTZLE
These are easy to make once you get the hang of “dropping” the dumplings into the water. Get someone to help if it’s the first time! You can use a spätzle press or push the batter through a colander with large holes. Have the pork ready to serve before starting the spätzle and have all components ready before starting.

4 eggs
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) grated nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh parsley, very finely chopped
⅔ cup (150 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) melted butter
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and salt together using a fork or hand blender. Gently stir in the flour, nutmeg and parsley.

2 Begin to beat in the milk until well-combined. At this point the batter can be covered; rest until needed.

3 Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, lower heat slightly to a gentle boil. Begin to“drop” the spätzle into gently boiling water by “pushing” batter through the holes of the colander with a rubber spatula. As the bits of batter fall from the bottom of the colander they will land in the water and cook into small pieces. Work in batches if needed. Cook spätzle for about 3 minutes, they will rise to the top and can be scooped out with a slotted spoon.

4 Toss in a bowl with the melted butter and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with pork and cider sauce.

Serves 6