Thursday, October 7, 2010

as promised {beer braised pork shoulder}

{photo from here}

We like to do nice Sunday dinners, but because we like football, we also like recipes that don't require a whole lot of attention. I'm always looking for easy, delicious looking recipes when sifting through Martha Stewart or Real Simple Magazine, and I came across this one for beer braised pork shoulder. The really nice thing about this recipe aside from the the fact that you can ignore it for hours and it's basically doing the work for you, is that there's a lot you can do with the left overs.

You can do this in a dutch oven or crock pot whichever you prefer, both will give you that fall off the bone, melt in your mouth goodness that a good braising should achieve.

Beer Braised Pork Shoulder

6 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 bon-in pork shoulder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
2 cups Belgian-style ale
1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Crisp pancetta in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, until fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add onions to Dutch oven. Cook over medium- high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate using slotted spoon. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add oil to Dutch oven, sear pork, fat side down, until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip, and repeat. Add garlic and spices to pot. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ale, stock, pancetta, and onions; bring to simmer. Transfer to oven, and braise pork, covered, basting every hour, until meat is falling off the bone, about 4 hours. Shred meat (just what you're using) using 2 forks, and drizzle with warm skimmed jus.

For left overs you can try this pasta recipe we used for picnic in the park.

Ribbon Pasta with Pork Ragu and Fresh Sage

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 1 pound ribbon pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving some cooking water. Toss pasta with 2 cups heated reduced reserved jus, 2 cuts heated reserved shredded pork, and 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage, adding reserved cooking water as needed. Garnish with finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

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