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Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes,
Fennel and Olives





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La Belle Cuisine


Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes,
Fennel and Olives

Chez Panisse Cooking
Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters,
1988, Random House

For 8

Salt and pepper
1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 pounds,
12 ounces), fat trimmed to 1/8 inch, tied to
form a rough rectangular shape
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large carrot (4 ounces), finely diced
1 medium stalk of celery (2 1/2 ounces),
finely diced
2 small yellow onions (12 ounces),
finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds,
crushed in a mortar
4 leafy sprigs thyme
3 large ripe tomatoes (2 pounds, 14 ounces),
peeled, seeded, diced, juice strained
and reserved
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
30 slices of garlic (4 large cloves)
2 1/2 cups water or meat broth
1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives (if the olives taste
strongly of salt, rinse them in several changes
of water before adding to the sauce)
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh
Italian parsley

Salt and pepper the roast and place it, fat side down, in a cast-iron pan preheated over low heat. Raise the heat to medium and brown the roast
for 12 minutes on the fatted side, pouring off fat as it renders, and about
5 minutes on the remaining three sides. Transfer the roast to a plate and
set it aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Clean out the cast-iron pan, warm
the vegetable oil, add the carrot, celery and onions, and cook the vege-
tables over moderate heat for 12 minutes. Raise the heat in the final 4
to 5 minutes, add the fennel seeds, and allow the vegetables to color
lightly. Place the cooked vegetables and the thyme sprigs in the bottom
of a 6-quart braising pot. Add the tomatoes and their juice, sprinkle with
1 teaspoon salt, and grind a little pepper over them. Stud the roast with
the garlic slices and set it on the bed of vegetables. Pour the water or
meat broth into the braising pot and bring it to a simmer. Cover the pot
tightly and place it in the oven for 2 hours.
Remove the roast from the pot and set it on a warm place. Remove 3
cups of sauce and vegetables from the pot an put them through the fine
blade of a food mill back into the braising pot. Reduce the vegetables
and liquid by half, or until the two are combined in a thick, saucy blend.
Skim away any fat that rises to the surface during the reduction. Test
the consistency of the sauce by placing a spoonful on a plate. If a thin
liquid bleeds out, reduce it further. The sauce will appear quite thick.
When the sauce has reduced sufficiently, stir in the olives and parsley.
Slice the roast, cutting away and discarding any internal pockets of fat.
Arrange the meat on a large warm platter or individual plates and place
a generous spoonful of sauce on each slice. Spread the sauce to cover
the meat. Alternatively, you may slice the meat ahead of time and in a
large earthenware or ceramic dish layer it with the sauce. This can be
accomplished well ahead of time; the braise can then be gently warmed
in the oven just prior to serving. Serve the braised pork with browned
new potatoes.

Featured Archive Recipes:
More Recipes from Chez Panisse
Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder
Braised Pork Shoulder with Endives
and Green Lentils

Braised Pork with White Beans,
Smoked Bacon and Kale


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