Thursday, January 23, 2014

Braised Pork with Chimichurri Pesto

Found my old collection of cooking magazines, down in the basement. It's like Christmas all over again :) Had fun going through them and finally one caught my attention. Braised pork with Chimichurri pesto. Got to admit, I hesitated a bit. Although I never heard any complaints when I served any greens, I was not sure how the kids would like the pesto. It's a lot of herbs. 

The next day I went grocery shopping, first thing I saw, pork shoulder was on discount.. talking about divine intervention! :)  So I decided to give it a try. I can always bake some pizza for the kids :)

Boy,  am I GLAD I tried this recipe. Turned out, they are ssooo good! Braising the pork shoulder in such a low temperature for a long time resulting in tender, succulent and flavorful meat. The pesto is not too strong either, kids love 'em. Leftover pesto, I added it to scramble eggs, toast and pasta.. yummy!

serving: 8

adapted from the Food & Wine Magazine

5 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed the fat and cut into 5 equal pieces
Salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups of water

Preheat oven to 275 F. Pat dry the pork shoulder, seasoned with salt and pepper. 

In a large skillet, melted the butter in oil. Then brown the pork all sides on high heat (3-4 minutes per side).

Transfer to an enameled cast-iron casserole. Add garlic, onion, thyme, bay leaf, stock and water. Bring to boil. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Transfer to a dish and keep warm.

Strain the liquid, return to the casserole and reduce by half over moderately high heat. Season with salt and pepper, add it to the pork and serve with chimichurri pesto (recipe below)


2 chopped garlic clove
1 seeded jalapeno
1 tsp salt
1 bunch curly-leaf parsley, stemmed
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed
1/4 cup chopped oregano
3/4 cup good olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

In a mortar, mash the garlic and jalapeno, seasoned with salt.
Using a food processor, work in the parsley, oregano, olive oil and vinegar. Add the mashed garlic and jalapeno to the mixture. Process until nearly smooth. It will be pasty. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with crushed red pepper.

I like to serve this dish with steamed rice on the side

Thank you for reading :)

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