Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Food


I know my last few all posts have been related to snow but I just can't help it, I really really love snow.  I also love all the wintertime activities that come with it.  This often (for us anyway) includes cooking something low and slow for a loooong time while the oven helps warm the apartment a little better.  Eating smushy and warm food, extra points if it's ugly, is perfect for weather like we're having tonight...

I mentioned last night some friends came over, braving ThunderSnow for the promise of pork and turnips... AND they brought us ice cream and beer.  I mean really... what more can you ask for?  Anyway, in return for their bravery and ice cream procurement skills, they were rewarded with said pork and turnip risotto.  Also we had truffled popcorn (pop some popcorn on the stove and toss it with salt and melted truffle butter... and this) and kale chips. The recipe for the pork can be found below and is very very flexible, and the recipe for the turnip risotto, from Mario Batali, can be found here.

We ate, we drank, we played weather roulette* and a good time was had by all :)

Also, as it turns out... I'm bad at making presentable recipes.  

Braised Pork Shoulder

preheat oven to 325*
1 (3ish lb?) pork shoulder
1 onion
2 carrots
3 celery ribs
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
3 sprigs thyme, rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine or dark beer
1 can diced/crushed tomatoes
~2 cups beef stock

cut one large pork shoulder into chunks and salt and pepper liberally on all sides
dice 1 onion, 1 carrot
mince 2 cloves garlic
make an herb bundle: thyme, rosemary, 2 bay leaves

brown the pork chunks (that sounds gross) on all sides (get it really good and brown) in a large oven safe dutch oven or something like that
remove from the pan and set aside
add carrots and onions to the pan and begin to caramelize (about 3-5 min) scraping up the porky bits
add garlic and saute 1 more minute
add the mustard and tomato paste and continue to brown
add one cup of red wine (or dark beer) to the pan to deglaze and reduce a few minutes
add the can of tomatoes
return the coated pork to the pot along with the herbs
add beef stock or water (if adding water you will definitely need a bit more salt at the end) so that it comes up about 3/4 the way up the meat
bring the mixture up to a boil then
cover pot with tin foil then put lid on pot
cook for 1.5 hrs, turn meat once, cook for 1.5 more hrs

take pork and herbs out and puree the rest of the sauce with a hand blender (or just spoon over the meat)

*weather roulette is a term I learned from a tiny friend where you "make questionable choices in the evening based on the possibility of not having to deal with work the next day (due to snow)"

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