Braised Pork

This time of the year I am never sure if I want to cook a last meal of the Summer or opt for the first meal of the Fall.  I went with the Autumn theme. 

I got this recipe out of Food and Wine’s October issue.  Sounded delicious.  As always, I didn’t exactly follow the recipe but that’s the beauty of cooking.

One 4 lb. pork butt (with bone) and skin – the bone isn’t necessary but I think it makes for a juicier piece of meat
2 ½ cups of thinly sliced shallots
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp powdered mustard
¾ cup Champagne vinegar
2 cups sparkling white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 sage sprigs
1 lb. red grapes (stemmed)
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. snipped chives

Preheat the oven to 300.  Using a super sharp knive score the pork skin in a crosshatch pattern.

In a large cast iron casserole (I prefer Le Creuset pots) cover the bottom with olive oil.  When it is really hot, put the skin side down until really browned and then brown the rest of the meat by turning.  It takes about 15 minutes for the whole thing.  Take out the pork.

Add the shallots to the casserole and bring the heat to low.  Stir until browned.  Add in the cumin, coriander and mustard until incorporated.  Add the vinegar and scrape the entire bottom of the casserole with a wooden spoon to move around any brown bits that have stuck.  Add the wine, stock and sage and then bring to a boil.  Put the pork back in and cover.  Put in the oven for about 3 hours or until very tender.

Take the pork out when done and cover with foil.  Put the casserole bottom over high heat and bring to a Veal1
boil.  The liquid should begun to thicken.  Takes about 10 minutes or less.  Add the grapes and boil until they begin to soften and pop.  Another 8 minutes or so.  Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and chives. 

Slice the pork and pour the vinegar sauce over and serve.  This picture doesn't give the dinner justice.  It was delicious.  To be made again. On the side I served Brussels sprouts and pureed carrots.