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Posts Tagged ‘Pork Shoulder’

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

It has been a busy couple of weeks around our household lately.  School started for both of my kids and I’m happy to report that they are really loving it. Honestly, getting back onto the swing of things wasn’t that difficult despite the transition from late summer bedtimes and laid-back mornings around the house.  And I suddenly have a bit more free time now, which has fallen perfectly in-line with canning season! That wonderful time of the year when I dream of tomatoes. I’ve been busy in the kitchen stocking up on salsa, sauces, and plain tomatoes for the winter. Two more boxes I picked up from the farmers market this weekend are waiting for me as I write this. But, I wanted to share this ridiculously delicious recipe with you before I dive into chopping my day away again.

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

I was never exposed to tomatillos while growing up.  In fact, I didn’t really ever buy them before I moved to Minnesota.  Now, I just love them and making salsa with them is a no-brainer.  However, we’ve been getting a beautiful bag almost weekly from our CSA, so I wanted to do something a bit different, because how many chips can a girl really eat?  Kidding…I can eat A LOT of chips.  Pork and tomatillos are a perfect combination together– the tang from these little green gems is perfect.  This stew could not be easier to make or more satisfying. The flavors are bright and the pork is tender, yet doesn’t need to cook all day long, which makes it a bonus for a weeknight meal.  I love to serve it with a scoop of brown rice on top, but it can be equally satisfying if you prefer it without grains.  If your family loves heat, preparing it with jalapeños in the sauce would be ideal.  We put them on the side, because…kids.  I really hope you make this stew– it’s perfect with the changing weather.  Now, if you’ll excuse me– I need to get back to my little tomato factory.  Hope you are all well!

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

The Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew

(serves 4)

2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos cut in half

1 bulb (yes, the entire bulb) garlic, separated into cloves

1 large white onion, chopped into large pieces

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 1/2 pounds – 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground with mortar and pestle OR 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

fresh cilantro, jalapeño,and lime for garnish

olive oil, salt and pepper

1 cup uncooked brown rice, cooked according to directions, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the tomatillos, onion chunks, and garlic cloves on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-5 minutes until slightly browned.  Keep a watchful eye.

Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and begin browning the meat in two batches, so as to not to overcrowd the pan.  When meat is done place it all back into the Dutch oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

In a large food processor, place the contents of the roasting pan, plus 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, and ground cumin seed and pulse a few times.  You don’t want the mixture to be completely pureed– a little texture is nice.  Add the mixture to the browned pork.  Stir.  Bring almost to a boil on the stovetop then immediately place in the oven.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pork is tender.  Reseason with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve immediately with a scoop of rice, jalapeño, more fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

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Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

Another polar vortex, another no-school day for the kids.  So another cozy, cold-weather meal is in order.  It was difficult to come up with a name for this dish that would capture the flavors here.  It has so many things going on, but they don’t necessarily fit nicely into a category.  A little bit of Mexican from the ancho chiles and the cumin, and a little bit of Asian from the star anise and the cloves, brought together by the American craft beer.  At any rate, let me tell you about this delicious pork shoulder that you’re going to want to make more than once this winter.

Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

For those of you who have a fear of tackling a large cut of meat, this recipe is an ideal entry point.  Braising a pork shoulder could not be easier and the results are dynamite.  For starters, and not to sound like a broken record– please use a piece of meat that has been raised properly, preferably local.  Braising can be done using any variety of liquids– broth, wine, milk, or plain water.  In this recipe I used a local craft beer that paired with the spices to develop a deep, wonderful flavor.  The pork works wonderfully with the sweeter tones of cinnamon/cloves/star anise/and allspice.  It also works well with ancho chiles and cumin.  Marrying the two combinations together is fantastic.  You’ll love it.  Be sure to top it with a bit of fresh jalapeño– it’s not that hot and the freshness really brightens up the flavors.

Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

We generally serve the pork shoulder on top of  polenta.  I love a creamy, hot bowl of polenta when it’s cold outside.  Polenta is basically just yellow cornmeal.  It’s origin is Italian and from what I gather, true Italians wouldn’t dream of putting dairy into their polenta, instead making it only with water.  I’m not Italian.  So, I opted for a couple pats of butter and a sprinkle of parmesan mixed in with mine.  I think my Fortify friends may have influenced this a bit.  You will find different variations of the grind size when buying polenta.  Medium ground seems to make the most satisfying polenta.  Some people think making polenta is fussy, but I haven’t found that to be the case.  I do however advise you to be ready to sit down and eat the moment the polenta is done.  It doesn’t stay creamy all that long before it starts to harden and become a bit clumpy.  While it still maintains it’s lovely flavor, the silky texture will be lost.  So, be ready to sit down at the table and enjoy this lovely meal.

Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

The Recipe: Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta

(serves about 4 with leftovers)

For the Pork Shoulder:

2 tablespoons olive oil, for browning

about a 4-pound pork shoulder (bone-in gives a great flavor)

1 medium white onion, diced

7-8 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 4-inch long cinnamon stick

1 whole star anise

1 dried bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 12-ounce bottle of really good craft beer (Locally,  Fulton’s Lonely Blonde or Indeed’s Midnight Ryder work really well.  One is a lighter beer and the other is a black ale.  The end results are each different, but both equally delicious.)

For the Polenta:

5 cups water

1 cup polenta, preferably medium grind

salt

a couple pats of butter

a few grates of fresh parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 250 °F.  Over a med-high flame, heat a large Dutch oven coated with olive oil until it is hot.  Pat the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel and season both sides of it with salt and pepper.  Place the pork in the Dutch oven and brown every side (ends, too) until a deep, dark caramel color has formed on all sides.  Remove from the pot and place on a plate.  In the same pot, add the onion and garlic, and a bit more olive oil, if needed.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  After about 3 minutes, add the the entire list of spices.  Stir and then add the beer.  Place the pork, along with any juices back into the pot.  Bring to an almost boil, then remove from heat.  Cover and place in the heated oven for about 3 hours.  You will know when the pork is done when you touch it with a fork.  It should feel tender, not tough.  It should practically fall off of the bone when gently tugged at.  If there is too much resistance, roast it a bit longer.  Be sure to have an oven thermometer, so you know the accuracy of your oven.

Meanwhile, begin the polenta.  In a large saucepan heat 5 cups of water seasoned with salt.  When it is boiling, sprinkle the polenta on the top.  Whisk everything together and reduce the heat to a medium simmer.  Continue to whisk every so often to avoid the bottom burning.  The mixture will eventually thicken up– the exact time will depend upon the size of the grain and how high you have the heat– so, I won’t give an exact measurement in minutes (anywhere from 20-40 minutes), just look for it to be the thickness that you desire.  When it is done, remove from heat and mix in a couple of pats of butter and a few grates of fresh parmesan cheese.  Polenta requires a decent amount of salt, to bring out the flavor– re-season, if necessary.  (Note:  leftover polenta can be spread out smoothly onto a baking sheet.  Refrigerate, then cut into squares.  You can bake or fry it and top it with all sorts of things– use your imagination!)

While the polenta is cooking, tend to the pork.  When the pork is done, remove it from the pot.  I like to make a smooth sauce out of the liquid, but the choice is entirely yours.  You can certainly skip this step.  Strain the liquid.  Then pour the liquid portion into a gravy separator to remove the fat, or use a spoon to skim it from the top.   Remove the cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaf and discard.  Place the remaining onions and garlic into a blender.  Then pour the liquid (sans fat) into the blender and blend it together (always be careful when blending hot liquids).  Return the mixture to the Dutch oven and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Meanwhile, separate the meat from the bone and tear it into big chunks.  Place the meat into the sauce.  Serve with jalapeños and polenta, if desired.  This is a wonderful dish to re-warm, as the flavors deepen even more overnight.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

I’m now well into my sixth month of being obsessed with tacos.  Seriously, we’ve been eating them at least once a week for more than a half year, and I’m not even close to getting sick of them.  Tacos al pastor?  Sure.   Spicy shredded beef?  Yes.  And then there are these amazing carnitas tacos that we’ve been enjoying.  They’re perfect to prepare in advance (and I live for meals like this in the summer), they’re healthy (if you don’t go overboard), and they’re oh so tasty.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas, or “little meats”, can be served simply as a stand-alone dish, but I love it in these tacos even more.  It’s a new addition to my repetoire, which also includes these, and these— both of which are also favorites.  This carnitas version combines the lively flavors of lime and orange, which pair beautifully with pork, cumin, and garlic.  The recipe couldn’t be simpler–  you can make it on the stovetop.  Perfect for when firing up the oven in the summer heat doesn’t sound so tantalizing.  Put all of the ingredients into a pot, no sautéing required.  When cutting your pork shoulder up into cubes, don’t trim off any fat– you’re going to need that so the meat doesn’t get dry.  Let it cook down for about 2 hours and then sear the pork at the end.  That’s it.  Did I mention that it’s completely delicious?

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The fresh tomatillo salsa is a fantastic compliment to the carnitas.  You may be tempted to buy a ready-made salsa from the store, but don’t.  The freshness of this topping cannot be bottled and you’ll end up spending more on a store-bought version that pales in comparison.  It only takes a minute to either chop or pulse the ingredients together– definitely worth your time.  And as far as toppings go, I’m stuck on queso fresco cheese, white onions, and cilantro.  The combination is sublime and it tastes so fresh.  Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The Recipe: Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

For the Carnitas:

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (do not trim the fat)

2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground

2 teaspoons kosher salt

6-7 garlic cloves, chopped

Corn tortillas, queso fresco cheese, limes, cilantro, and white onions for toppings

For the Tomatillo Salsa:

4 tomatillos

1/2 medium white onion

4 garlic cloves

1 jalapeño

small handful of cilantro (around 1/3 cup)

juice of 1 lime

kosher salt

To make the Carnitas:  Place all of the ingredients into a large Dutch oven.  Add enough water to just cover the pork.  Bring to a boil, then simmer the pork uncovered for about 2 hours.  Do not touch the pork.  Let it do it’s thing.  After 2 hours, bring the heat up to medium/high and begin reducing the liquid for about the next 45 minutes.  When the liquid is mostly gone, sear all the sides of the pork pieces.  They will be tender and practically fall apart.  Keep a watchful eye at this point, as you don’t want them to burn.

To make the Tomatillo Salsa:  Rough chop the ingredients and place them into a food processor and give them a few pulses until the salsa is your desired consistency.  Alternatively, you can chop all of the ingredients by hand.  Make sure to season correctly with salt.

Source:  Carnitas recipe adapted from The Homesick Texan

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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I know, I’ve made another dish with a fancy French word.  Well, I’ve found that a good rule is,  if it comes from French food culture it’s going to be good.  Mollet eggs (rhymes with Olé) are wonderfully soft eggs with a firm egg-white, and a beautiful oozy center.  They’re not what we would generally call a soft egg, with it’s more liquid albumin.  I’ve been obsessed with these eggs for the last two months.  By obsessed, I mean I’ve eaten at least one for breakfast or lunch almost every day.  And can I just mention how brilliant they are this time of year!  If you’re using organic, free-range chicken eggs, you’ll see the yolks are almost orange right now, as the birds get out and take in those nutritients.  Happy chickens means a happy me.  I’ll put an egg on most anything.  “Put an egg on it!” is my “Put a bird on it!”.  (Portlandia anyone?)

I don’t always like to use oil when I prepare eggs, so that leaves me with the options of either hard-boiled (which I make often) or poached.  And more often than not, I’m too lazy to poach them.  I’ve found that mollet eggs are the perfect solution.  This technique, which I first saw used by that French culinary sage, Jacques Pepin, is foolproof.  First, bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Use a pin or thumbtack to poke a hole into the largest end of the egg.  This hole prevents the egg shell from cracking while it’s cooking.  Boil the eggs for six minutes and then pour out the water.  Shake the pan to crack the shells a bit.  Finally, peel the eggs under cold, running water.  The water gets under the shell and membrane, causing it to slough off without taking any of the firm egg-white.  The egg is perfect every time.

Now the egg is only part of this breakfast dish.  We love hash– the perfect big breakfast to start the weekend.  It’s even better when you have friends come over to enjoy it with.  I make the pork shoulder in a crock pot, though of course you can just use your oven and braise the pork shoulder if you like.  One of the things I love about this meal is that most of it can be made in advance.  Much of the morning can be spent visiting and sipping on a cup of French-press coffee.  I love being able to make most of this meal ahead of time,  it makes the morning so much more relaxing.  And even better, the leftovers (if you somehow have any) heat up very well, and make a fine lunch.  Here’s to your next weekend breakfast!

The Recipe: Mollet Eggs with Pork Shoulder Hash

(serves 6 comfortably)

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic

2 sprigs rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

1 large white onion, chopped, plus another 1/2 onion

3 pounds organic fingerling potatoes, steamed, then diced

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 pounds pork shoulder

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

6 organic eggs, or more

kosher salt and fresh black pepper

To make the pork shoulder:  The night before you plan to serve it, place the pork shoulder seasoned with kosher salt and fresh black pepper, 1/2 white onion cut into chunks, garlic cloves, 1 rosemary sprig, thyme, and 1/2 cup of water (or a bit more, if you see fit) into a crock pot set at low.  Leave on overnight.  In the morning, remove the meat and and shred it with two forks, discarding any fat. Add the soft garlic cloves to the meat.  Set aside.

Prepare the potatoes the night before, as well.  Add the potatoes to a large saucepan with a steamer inserted into it.  Set the heat to medium-high and cover with a lid.  If they don’t all fit into your pan, steam them in two batches.  Steam for 10-15 minutes, depending upon the size of your potatoes, or until a knife inserted into them goes in with ease.  Let cool and place them covered in the refrigerator overnight.  Dice them in the morning.

In the morning,  heat a large skillet (mine is 14-inches) to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and then sauté the onion until it develops a nice golden color, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the celery and sauté until it softens a bit.  Sprinkle kosher salt and fresh black pepper into the pan.  Add the diced potatoes and cook until they are heated through and have developed a bit of a golden color to them.  Add the shredded pork shoulder to the pan and continue to sauté until everything is hot.  Re-season, if necessary.  Sprinkle with chives and chop up the remaining rosemary sprig and add that, as well.

 Meanwhile, while the potatoes are cooking, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil.  When the potatoes are on the verge of being done, gently push a pin or thumbtack  into the large end of each of the eggs.  Gently lower them into the boiling water.  Reduce the heat to a small boil.  Set a timer for six minutes.  When the timer goes off, remove from heat.  Drain the hot water into sink leaving the eggs in the pan.  Gently, but with a bit of force, shake the pan back and forth, so that the eggs crack a bit.  Run some cold water and begin to peel the eggs underneath it.  It is important to get the water under the shell and the membrane.  Once that occurs, peeling the egg will be a cinch.  Dry the eggs on a paper towel.

Have the pork shoulder hash plated and place one egg (or more) on the top.  Cut into the egg and enjoy the golden yolk oozing all over the crisp potatoes and pork shoulder.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!
Laurie

 

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Alright, I’m salivating looking at the pictures of this unbelievable mole-inspired pork shoulder (MOLE-lay).  You see,  I often blog at night before I go to bed, which means I’m just starting to get hungry.  It’s been a few days since we had this delicious meal, but now I’m thinking that I may have to make it again this weekend.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to prepare pork shoulder any other way (that might be a lie, but dang– it’s really amazing!).

I love the varied spice combination here.  Combining the cocoa and cinnamon, along with the pork works perfectly– they compliment each other so well.  We were able to enjoy two meals out of this one pork shoulder.  The first time we made shredded tacos served with chunks of avocado and lime.  Wowzer!  Then we made these fantastic savory cornmeal cakes to go with it the next night.  The cakes were perfect, they were substantial and best of all, had that nice ‘toothsome’ bite.  The flavor of the cornmeal was a nice base for the the intriguing mole flavors.

A few things to consider when you make this.  Sometimes it’s difficult to get the exact amount of meat listed for recipes.  If you can’t find a 2 1/2 pound pork shoulder, or would just like to make more (because the leftovers are fabulous) just get a bigger one.  Increase the amount of the seasonings a little, and cook it a bit longer.  It’s not a big deal at all– one of the joys of cooking is getting confident enough to make changes and substitutions as needed.  Remember, it’s just food.  Take control of it and make it your own.  Enjoy the pork shoulder on either the cornmeal cakes or as tacos.  They’re brilliant!

The Recipe: Mole-Inspired Roasted Pork Shoulder with Crackling Cornmeal Cakes

For the Mole-Inspired Pork Shoulder:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

1/3 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, (bone-in or boned are both fine), trimmed of fat

1 head of garlic, broken into cloves, peeling is optional

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the dry ingredients.  Stir with a spoon, or use your fingers like I do, until thoroughly combined.  Place pork shoulder on a plate and rub the spice mixture all over it.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or in the refrigerator for 2 – 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 275°F.  Place the pork shoulder in a Dutch oven, or a similar pan of some sort that is deep and has a lid.  (If you don’t have either, you can also wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil, making sure the seam is at the top, so the juices don’t seep out.  Then place in an oven-proof skillet or casserole.) Add the garlic cloves to the pan.  Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the Dutch oven and then place the lid securely on it.

Roast the pork until it is very tender and falling off of the bone, about 2 hours.  When it is done, transfer to a platter and cover with foil.  Defat the juices by putting them in the freezer for 10 minutes and then spoon the fat off with a spoon.  Shred the pork with two forks and pour the juices over the top of them.

Crackling Cornmeal Cakes

(makes about ten to twelve 2-inch cakes)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 2/3 cups coarse cornmeal

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until combined.  Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.  (Add more or less buttermilk depending upon if you prefer your pancake thick or crispy.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brush the surface with butter.  Pour the batter onto the pan, 2 tablespoons at a time works well.  Cook the cakes until they bubble at the surface and set and the edges on the underside are brown.  Flip them and continue to cook.  Repeat until all of the batter is gone, making sure to butter the pan each time.  Serve as soon as they are done, or keep warm, covered with tea towels in an oven warmed to 200°F.

Serve the pancakes smeared with sour cream and piled high with the mole-inspired pork shoulder.  A squirt of lime juice and a few sprigs of cilantro will complete the meal nicely.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Sally Schneider’s the Improvisational Cook

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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