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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Braised Pork Shoulder and Veggies

Anybody that knows me knows that pork is my favorite meat.

It's cheap, flavorful and if you don't cook it to death can be just as moist and juicy as beef.

Well there are 2 ways of cooking it a long time that yield that unctious delicacy known as pulled pork....

Both are low and slow - Smoking and Braising.

I prefer the Braising method cause I don't wanna tend a fire for 6 hours.

I've done my braised Pork Butt on this blog before but it's been a while so I figured I'd do an update for this Thanksgiving.

I start with an array of root veggies - sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas and parsnip.

And of course and array of colorful peppers - Poblano, Jalapeno and Red - Green - Orange Bell peppers.

And sweet onion.

I love the taste of ginger and garlic too so we'll dice some of that up and throw in the mix eventually.

And a few bay leaves.

That's the Pork Butt on the left which has been seasoned for 2 days with a thick dry rub of Meat Tenderizer, Salt, Pepper, Curry mix, Garam Masala, Allspice, Cumin and Turmeric.

So first off, dice up all the root veggies and season with the same seasoning - spice combination as the meat.

I season and brown everything first in smoking hot cast iron skillets before I braise it.

I've done it both ways - no browning and browning - and browning by far yields the better taste for the braising liquid, veggies and meat.  There's something about the high heat searing of the seasoning to the outside of the veggies and meat that creates a whole nother depth of flavor.

Next is the peppers.

And then the sweet onions.

Then I give the meat itself a helluva browning on every side.

Summer Squash...

Holy Blindness Batman - I almost forgot the carrots!

Put the meat in the bottom of the pot and pile all the veggies in and then add a quart of chicken broth / stock to the pot.

Add water to bring the liquid level up to the brim of the pot.

Then in a 225 - 275 degree oven for 5 - 6 hours.

I could braise at 225 degF at sea level in Lake Jackson Tx but here in Santa Fe at 7200' elevation, the braising seems to work better around 275 degF.

After about 4-1/2 - 5 hours, dice up your final soft veggies and greens like Baby Bella mushrooms, cilantro and basil.

And add to the pots.

Add water as necessary to bring the level back up in the pot.

Finally, put a good bit of seasoned kale in the pot.

Back in the oven for another hour.

And there ya go.... that's a pot of veggie - meat - broth goodness that will make you happy on Thanksgiving or any other day of the year!

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