Monday, November 13, 2006

Slow Cooked Pork

(Made 13 November 2006)
  1. One kilo pork loin roast w/bone in keep the fat on but if the skin is still on take that off;
  2. Olive oil;
  3. 45 gr softened butter;
  4. 2 large shallots roughly cut up (or onions);
  5. 6 cloves garlic;
  6. 1 tsp Rock salt;
  7. Ten or so black pepper corns;
  8. 2 tsp fresh sprigs thyme;
  9. 2 tsp fresh sage (Actually you can replace the herbs with any other herbs that you like);
  10. 2 carrots finely chopped;
  11. 2 sticks celery cut into 2 cm pits;
  12. 350 ml chicken stock;
  13. 350 ml white vine;
  14. 150 gr of new potatoes per person;
  15. 200 gram tin of Cannelloni beans.

In a mortar create a paste out of ingredients 2 – 9 leaving aside about 15 grams of butter, two cloves garlic and one shallot. You start with the pepper and salt and mash those until fine, then add the herbs and mash until fine. Then add the garlic and shallot and mash until you have a paste into which you work the softened butter and olive oil. Basically, you are looking for a paste that is easy to spread but not runny and the quantity of olive oil needed will be thus determined.

Spread the paste over the no-bone parts of the pork until you have an even layer covering the meat. Leave in a cool place for a couple of hours for the meat to marinade. If you really like your garlic you could make incisions into the meaty parts and push bits of garlic into the meat before spreading the paste. The added benefit of this is that there will be more surface for the marinade to cover.

In a heavy braising pot heat the remaining butter and some olive oil and when hot add the carrot, celery, remaining shallot and garlic. Sweat the vegetables without coloring them. When done add the meat bone-side down (push the vegetables away so that the meat is resting on the pot), poor the vine and stock around (not over) the meat, close the pot and put in a preheated oven at the lowest level. The oven should be at 140 Celsius for four hours (falling of the bone) or 180 Celsius for two hours (still firm but juicy). Use the convection function if you have it otherwise over-under. Traditionally, recipes call for you to braise the meat every 30 minutes or so but I find that it make very little difference with a closed pot.

For the last 30 minutes uncover the meat (and leave uncovered) and add the potatoes to the broth. If these are truly new potatoes you do not need to peal them and the skin will take on a very appealing color as one side roasts and the other absorbs the liquids.

Take pork and potatoes out of oven, cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Meanwhile strain the liquid and put into a hot gravy pot. Combine with the Cannelloni beans and bring to a boil. The beans when heated will release starch that will thicken the sauce. If the sauce is not thick enough crush a few of the beans and mix.

Serve with bean sauce spooned over the meat. I like to put the carrots and celery (or what remains of them) under the meat before spooning over the sauce but most recipes would tell you to throw them away. I had an excellent Australian pinot noir with the meat but any medium bodied read or full bodied white will do.

I love this method of preparing the potatoes but I’ve served this dish with pommes gratine which is just as good. You can also add some mushrooms to the broth and a vegetable purée will not do any harm although the dish will be quite busy.

No comments: