Slow cooked shoulder of pork (economy gastronomy)

I have never really cooked pork so making this I stuck to the recipe.

The end result was spectacular! The meat literally melted in your mouth. Like butter.

This recipe is the bedrock for the next few recipes. You don’t eat this in one sitting.

I will be making a lasagne tomorrow with the rest of the pork and a gnocchi dish the day after.

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Ingredients

800g pork ribs
2 onions, peeled and diced
4 stalks rosemary
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cloves garlic, peeled
extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 kg pork shoulder, boned but not rolled, skin scored
salt
pepper
5 400g tins plum tomatoes
5 Bay leaves
60g butter
1 sm handful sage leaves
1 litre milk
80g Parmesan, grated, plus any old pieces of rind
350g polenta
Recipe says runner beans but I had peas.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200C. In a deep roasting tray, put the ribs, onion, rosemary, chilli flakes, oregano, garlic and 80ml olive oil, and mix together. Season well.

Make a hole in the middle for the pork shoulder. Place it in and rub a tablespoon of sea salt into the cuts in the skin. Once the over is up to speed, pop the roasting tray in for half a hour.

Tip all the tomatoes into a bowl and break the up with your hands. Once the meat has been in the oven for an initial 30 minutes, add the tomatoes to the tray along with the bay leaves, giving everything a good an thorough mix and season, the stick it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

By now the crackling should have crackled. If not, leave it in till it looks done. Take the tray out, and turn the oven down to 160C, leaving the oven door open while you do the next step so it can cool down a bit.

Use a thin sharp, long knife to gently ease off the whole crackling layer, and set it aside. Spoon some tomato sauce over the pork, and stir the sauce a bit. Cover with foil, and put the tray back in for an hour. Then lift the ribs gently out and put them aside for the sticky ribs recipe. Turn the shoulder over in the baking tray, stir the sauce again, and baste the pork well, and put it back in the over for a final hour.

When you take the shoulder out of the oven, take the foil off, flip the meat over so it’s the right way up again, and baste it once more with the tomato sauce. Turn the oven off, but put the crackling back in to warm through on a tray.

While the meat is resting, put a large saucepan on medium heat, and melt the butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil together. Fry the sage gently for a few minutes, before pouring in the milk and 500 ml of water. Chuck in any bits of parmesan rind you have, too.

Season well, and once i has come to a simmer, pour in the polenta whilst whisking all the time. Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Lightly oil a baking tray.

Put a second pan on with less than 5cm of water for the runner beans. Cover with a lid, and once it’s up to a boil, drop in the beans and cook for about 4 minutes, then drain.

Remove the parmesan rind, and finish the polenta by stirring through most of the grated parmesan. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon some of the polenta on to each warmed serving plate, then tip the rest on to the oiled tray, spreading it out with the back of a spoon to around an inch thick. Once cooled cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge.

Cut off some slices of pork to reserve for sandwiches. Save about 500g of pork and 300g of the sauce for the lasagne. Save 300g of the sauce and 600g of the polenta for the gnocchi al forno.

Arrange the soft pork and crunchy crackling on the plates, with some of the tomato sauce, polenta and runner beans.

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