So, we were supposed to go to Muskegon today to scout out wedding stuff, but last night we noticed that the rear tire had gone flat again, so we decided to stick closer to home rather than deal with a potential tire emergency on the road. Since we had an unexpected night at home, I picked up a pork shoulder. Because that’s what I do sometimes – I spontaneously buy meat with no solid plan for its use. Seriously.
A few months ago we made a really solid braise using a Mario Batali recipe, but I wanted to try something new before committing to one pork shoulder recipe and so, after poring over my folder of clippings and flipping through more cookbooks than I’d care to admit, we settled on a recipe from Cibola Farms, a DC/VA market vendor whose pork and bison we enjoyed many a time.
The pork, slowly braised with careful monitoring by Shane while I went to yoga, was tender and flavorful, with a bit of sweetness. We both would’ve liked more carrots and onions, but since we’ll absolutely be making this again, that should be no problem
Pork Pot Roast
3-4 pound pork shoulder roast (also called ‘pork butt’)
1 tablespoon rendered pork fat or olive oil
2 medium chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 cups chicken broth
a glass of wine, whatever you’ve got handy
12 small red new potatoes or fingerling potatoes
3-4 large carrots, cut into thick coins
12 small boiling onions, peeled
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
In a large Dutch oven, heat pork fat or olive oil over medium heat. Brown the roast on all sides, then remove the meat and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, if necessary, and add the chopped onions, garlic, mustard seed, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the pan. Cook over low heat until the onions are soft. Push the onions to the side, and return the roast to the pan. Add salt, pepper, broth, and wine. Cover and simmer for approximately 2 hours, or until the meat is tender, basting occasionally with pan juices. About 30 minutes before the roast is done, add the potatoes, boiling onions, and carrots.
When the meat is tender and has reached an internal temperature of 160, remove the roast and vegetables to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Reduce the pan juices over high heat to about 1 cup. Skim off the fat and stir in the cornstarch solution, heating to thicken. Serve with fresh bread and a green salad.