Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cooking up a storm (Braised Pork Shoulder)

Now that the lazy, hazy days of summer are behind us, we've reinvigorated our weekly menu planning and new recipe searching activities.  Most of our inspiration came from the October issue of "Real Simple" and their month of easy meals that we have made quite a few dinners from.  We're sort of circling back to the begining of the year when we made resolutions to grocery shop less and cook more healthy (for the most part), new and fun dinners. 

I suppose this first recipe might not qualify for "healthy" but it did contain some greans, some protein, and on a fall Sunday, let's face it, a Braised Pork Shoulder just sounds awesome.

We adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart's October issue from 2010 (side note...I just LOVE when my October issue of Martha comes, it starts off my three favorite month's of Martha magazines!)

6-7 ounce pork shoulder

6 medium/thick slices pancetta
2 thinly sliced onions
1 head of garlic
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds (using mortal and pestal, crush the fennel and coriander together)
2 cups of Belgium style ale (we used a Sam Adam's fall harvest brew, can't remember which!)
1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
Olive oil, salt & pepper

*Pre-heat oven to 300
*Finely chop pancetta and crips up in olive oil in a dutch oven then remove
*Caramelize sliced onions in dutch oven for about 20 minutes then remove
*Season the pork with some salt & pepper then add a little more oil to dutch oven and sear fat side down for about 5 minutes or until golden, flip and repeat
*Add in your combined fennel and coriander with chopped up garlic and cook about a minute or so
*Add back in the onions and pancetta as well as the beer and chicken stock and bring to a simmer
*Then cover and put in the oven for roughly 4 hours or until the pork is shredding

Our spin on it was that before we began shredding the meat we took about a cup of the liquid from the dutch oven and added to a sauce pan.  We then added a small can of pumpkin puree, some nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and a little more chicken stock and let it thicken up (we probably added some additional pepper and salt). 

We then boiled some pappardelle pasta and plated it up with some shredded pork on top, with some steamed green beans and then topped with the pumpkin sauce. 

So delicious, so fall, and so great for leftovers (wait until you see what we did with those!) :)

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