While the food writers for the New York Times weigh in on their favorite end-of-summer treats, two other pieces in the dining section provide easy distraction. The first is Sam Sifton’s review of the chinese joint, 456 Shanghai Cuisine, in Chinatown. Read it and start craving hot broth and dumplings immediately.
The season seems to have changed already in my kitchen, too. For me, that means a nice braised pork shoulder. And lest you think I’m ignoring my CSA box (it goes through November), I assure you the potatoes and apples in it prompted this recipe.
In a dutch oven, brown the salt and peppered pork shoulder in olive oil. Set the meat aside and saute some aromatics–rough chopped onion, celery, parsnip, garlic. Return the meat and pour in hard cider and chicken stock until the meat is 1/2-2/3 covered. Add rosemary, bay leaf, peppercorns, and parsley, cover, and move to the oven set at 325 degrees (pre-heat to 400 degrees). Cook for 2 1/2 hours, flipping the pork mid-way.
When time’s up, pull out the roast and strain the liquid of any solids. Return meat and liquid back to the dutch oven and add chopped parsnips and potatoes. Bring to a boil on the stovetop and then cover and move back to the oven for 30 more minutes. Move the meat to a cutting board and the vegetables to a serving platter. Start reducing the broth and add balled butter and flour or a thickener like Wondra. Flavor with mustard and salt until it’s right. The meat comes apart easily and can be placed on the serving platter with the vegetables, gravy on the side. I also saute apples in butter and sugar to serve along with the rest. You know, for if you’re over tomatoes and corn.