This has been a rough month. That is all I have to say about it. I haven’t done much of anything I love, least of all cooking or baking or even eating for that matter. But, enough now. All my pants are big on me (that part is awesome), so it’s time to get back to cooking and eating good shit.
And I love pork, so this is my perfect dish to come back to myself with. And, since it has been in the 30s for at least part of the day every day for a week here, it is appropriate to bring out one last cold weather dish. This had better be the last god damn one til October.
This is my second favorite lazy Sunday meal next to braciole with Sunday sauce. It not only makes the house smell amazing, but the last time I made this, the one who was joining me for the day said he could smell it all the way in the driveway and it had only been in the oven for an hour. It tastes even better, so he said.
I love braising because it is simple and you can throw it together without a recipe if you want, add any spice you enjoy, add your favorite wine and mix up the vegetables to your liking.
Pork is rich and the fat melts right in to the sauce.
Great choice for your next, hopefully last, chilly day.
Braised Pork Ragu
Bone-in pork shoulder salt and peppered, fat side scored and s - the size depends on how much you want, I used about a three pounder
Large can of San Marzano tomatoes
three carrots chopped
three stalks of celery chopped
one onion chopped
one garlic clove chopped
tablespoon tomato paste
two teaspoons chicken or beef demiglace
2-3 cups of red wine (use something you would drink)
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of Hungarian hot paprika
salt and pepper
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
In a Dutch oven or large braising pan heat about one teaspoon of olive oil on high heat until searing hot. Add pork fat side down and brown on all sides.
While pork is browning place the chopped carrots, celery, onion and the garlic clove in a food processor or a blender and puree until nearly a paste.
Remove pork from pan, turn the heat down to medium and add the puree of vegetables, fresh thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, and cook down until some of the liquid has evaporated, about five minutes. Add the tomato paste and the demi-glace and cook about three more minutes. Add the hot and smoked paprika, the bay leaf, the tomatoes and the wine and bring to a simmer. Check for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed. Add the pork back into the pot and cover and place in oven.
Braise in oven, covered and without touching or peeking and check after four hours. The meat should be fall apart tender when finished.
Remove the bone and skim some of the excess fat off the top. Shred the meat and mix into the sauce. Serve with creamy polenta, or gnocchi or mashed potatoes.