Pork and Potatoes
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp olive oil
- One 3½-to-4-pound bone-in pork shoulder
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 medium leek or onion, halved crosswise
- 2 small carrots, 1 halved crosswise and 1 finely diced
- 1 mint sprig
- 1 oregano sprig
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 12 ounces small new potatoes or red potatoes
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 1/2 small celery rib, finely diced
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- One 1-pound cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
Braised meat is the essence of Alentejo’s farmhouse cooking. In this recipe from Quinta do Quetzal, tender pork is shredded, then fried in olive oil until slightly charred, and served with potatoes, pickled cauliflower and a carrot purée. Serves 4
Make the pork:
- In a medium Dutch oven, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown well on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Spoon off the fat. Add the leek, halved carrot, mint, oregano and wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cover and cook over low heat, turning the meat every 20 minutes, until very tender, about 2 hours. (The pork can be left to cool in the pan juices, then refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Meanwhile, pickle the cauliflower:
- Place the cauliflower in a 1-quart canning jar. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, salt, peppercorns and 2 cups of water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour the hot brine into the jar, cover and let stand for at least 2 hours. (The extra pickle can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.)
Make the potatoes:
- In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, 15 to 20 minutes; drain.
Transfer the pork to a carving board
- And let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil over high heat, stirring, until the juices reduce to 1¼ cups (about 5 minutes); season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, remove the meat from the bone and discard the fat. Shred the meat.
In a large skillet,
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over moderately high heat. Add the diced carrot, onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and the shredded meat, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the edges turn brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Return it to the bowl.
In the same skillet,
- Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil over moderately high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half. Mound the meat mixture in the center of a platter or plates and moisten with some of the pan juices. Sprinkle with a little of the pickled cauliflower and surround with the potatoes. Serve with the remaining pan juices.
This story appears in the print issue of October 2018.
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