Milk Braised Pork Roast

 
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INGREDIENTS 

  • 2.5-3 pound pork roast  

  • 1 batch LMC basic pork brine (below)

  • 1 gallon milk

  • 1 head fennel, roughly chopped

  • 1 head garlic (sliced in half crosswise to expose the core)

  • 1 lemon, split in half 

  • 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns

  • 2-3 fresh bay leaves

  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme, bruised 


For the brine

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt 

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, bruised

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed 

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 4 cups of water until just simmering. 

  2. Whisk in brine ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved.

  3. Cool brine completely. 

  4. Place pork shoulder into a large ziplock bag and pour in cooled brine. Try to force as much air out of the bag as possible to make sure that the pork is completely covered in the liquid brine. Let the pork sit in the brine in your refrigerator overnight. If some of your shoulder is not in the brine, just turn it over in the bag every once in a while (2-3 times is plenty).

  5. After a day in the brine, continue with the rest of the preparation. 

  6. Remove the shoulder from the brine and let it rest in the kitchen for at least an hour while you preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 

  7. Place the pork in a deep casserole dish or Dutch oven. 

  8. Add the garlic, fennel, lemon, thyme, bay leaf, and then pour milk into the casserole until approximately half of the shoulder is submerged. Place it in the preheated oven and let it braise uncovered for about four hours. 

  9. Every hour, turn the shoulder over into the milk so that the surface that was exposed to the heat is now submerged in the milk and baste generously.


Note: It doesn’t start out as much, but by the fourth or fifth flip something glorious happens. The milk will eventually break and the meat will start to caramelize. Because the milk separates into fat and solids, the shoulder basically slow cooks itself in flavored fat. I recommend about four hours for cooking time because it will be slightly different depending on your oven. The best way to make sure the pork is ready is to pierce the roast at the thickest point with a sharp knife, if the knife gently glides in and then easily out, your work is done. 

Roasted quince is a great side for this dish, as are figs, fennel, potatoes, or sunchokes.

A FEW NOTES ON BRINING 

This is our favorite simple pork brine, but it is by not a “perfect recipe”. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking. 

You don’t need to add sugar to a brine, we just prefer a small amount of sweetness in the recipe. Because this brine contains sugar, the chop will caramelize more quickly that normal. Make sure to keep an eye on this, as an unattended brined pork chop can become burned rather quickly. 

We like salty pork, period. This recipe is based on a 2-3% salt solution, by weight. Taste the brine after you dissolve it in the hot water, if it tastes roughly as salty as the ocean, then this is the “right” amount as far as we are concerned. If this seems to salty to you, just add a bit more water to the solution. 

Your brine ingredients do flavor the meat, so consider this when adding or certain ingredients to the brine. Essentially, a brine is saltwater. Any ingredients beyond just salt and water are only for taste. Peppercorns, juniper, mustard seeds and clove are all common ingredients to add to a brine. We like to keep our brine simple, so that we can adjust the flavor later with finishing seasonings or basting sauces. 

Keep in mind, oily herbs like rosemary and dried spices like juniper and clove have essential oils that become very strong when heated. When using ingredients like these, error on the side of under-seasoning or you risk making your meat taste like a Christmas tree. 

Brining is an traditional method for preservation. Brining slightly increases the “shelf-life” of the meat. 

Want a local, pasture-raised heirloom pork roast delivered to you monthly? Click here to find out more about what comes in our boxes!

 

Pork Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

 
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Ingredients 

For the sausage

1 pound ground pork 

1 teaspoon Kosher salt 

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes 

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds


For the mushrooms 

8 to 10 medium brown mushrooms, brushed clean and stems removed 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard  

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

For the Topping 

2 tablespoons dried Italian breadcrumbs 

1 tablespoon dried thyme 

1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan 

To serve (optional)

Arugula 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Aged Balsamic 

Sea Salt 


Directions

1. A day prior to making the mushrooms, mix all sausage ingredients and allow seasoning to “cure” the meat overnight (optional but recommended).

2. Combine the oil, balsamic, Dijon, and pepper in a bowl. Add the mushrooms and turn to coat evenly. Season the mushroom caps on both sides with the tablespoon of Kosher salt. Allow mushrooms to marinate for an hour. 

3. Preheat oven to 375° and mix together the topping ingredients. 

4. Mound the sausage into the cavity of each mushroom cap. Generously garnish each stuffed mushroom with the seasoned breadcrumb topping. 

5. Arrange mushrooms in a cast-iron pan or small cookie sheet and bake in 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The sausage should read at least 145° degrees on an instant read thermometer and the breadcrumbs will be golden brown when ready. 

6. Serve mushrooms warm with arugula dressed simply in lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic. Garnish with arugula and sea salt. 

Don’t use just any ground pork, use ground pork from acorn fed, pasture-raised Mangalitsa pigs from Buellton, California! We love it so much we include it in all of our boxes:

 

LMC Winter Endive Salad With Bacon, Pears & Pomegranate Cider Vinaigrette 

 
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INGREDIENTS

For the Salad

1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 

1/4 pound pork or beef bacon, roughly chopped 

2 large shallots, peeled and minced   

3 heads red endive, leaves separated 

3 heads yellow endive, leaves separated 

1 small head radicchio, leaves separated

1 small head fennel, core removed and sliced thin 

1 pear, cored and thinly sliced  

shelled pistachios and zest of one orange, for garnish  

For the Vinaigrette 

1/4 cup cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons spiced apple cider  

2 tablespoons room temperature honey

1 teaspoon salt  

1 teaspoon mustard

1/8 teaspoon sweet curry powder   

1/8 teaspoon cayenne  

1 cup neutral oil like avocado, grape seed, or canola

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses     

DIRECTIONS  

To make the vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, cider, honey, salt, mustard, curry and cayenne in a bowl or blender and whisk or blend on low to combine. If your honey is cold and slightly hardened, just put the mixing bowl over a low burner on your stove while whisking in order to warm the honey enough to incorporate with the other ingredients. 

While whisking or with the blender on low, slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl or blender to emulsify the dressing. When all of the oil is incorporated, whisk in the pomegranate molasses and taste for seasoning.  

To make the salad: Sauté the chopped bacon in the olive oil until it is caramelized, then sauté the shallots in the rendered fat until they are soft and translucent. Set bacon and shallots aside and allow to cool slightly. 

Toss endive, radicchio, fennel and pears in a large mixing bowl and dress with approximately the vinaigrette. Add the bacon, shallot mixture with some of the olive oil/rendered fat (just for flavor) and toss again to combine. Garnish salad with the pistachios and the orange zest. This salad is also excellent marinated in the vinaigrette overnight, or even shredded for a slaw-style salad.

One way to prevent your kids from eating all the bacon is by putting salad in it (and believe me, you won’t want to share this bacon, it’s better than any bacon you’ve ever tried). Get yours here:

 

Mussels & Chorizo

 
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Ingredients

1 tablespoon cooking oil, rendered lard or bacon grease 

1 pound chorizo (see recipe below)

1/2 large onion, diced 

4 cloves garlic, minced 

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground (or ground seeds)

1 cup light beer (any light lager will work great, enjoy the remaining while cooking:)

1 can stewed tomatoes (10-14oz.)

2 cups shellfish, chicken or vegetable stock 

3-4 pounds Black Mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

1/4 pound of butter, sliced into pads and kept refrigerated 

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste 

1 loaf of country-style sourdough, thickly sliced and toasted or grilled 

Italian flat-leaf parsley, watercress, or arugula leaves and olive oil (optional garnishes)

Directions

1. Heat a cast-iron dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot with a lid on medium high heat.

Add the cooking oil/fat and sauté the sausage. Break it up into small chunks with a wooden spoon and allow it to brown slightly. 

2. When the sausage is browned, remove most of it from the pan, reserving some of the cooking oil/fat in the pot, and set the sausage aside. 

3. Sauté the onion in the cooking oil/fat until it is translucent. When the minced onion is cooked, add the sausage back to the pot.

Add the garlic, chili flakes and cumin seeds and sauté with the sausage/onion until fragrant.

When you smell the garlic and spices, add the beer, stewed tomatoes and stock and reduce just slightly. 

4. Add the mussels and remaining sausage and cover cooking vessel with lid. 

Steam the mussels on medium-high heat until they open, approximately 10-15 minutes. 

5. When the mussels are opened, using a slotted spoon transfer them to a large serving bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap to retain moisture while you finish the sauce.

Using the released mussel liquor and tomato/chorizo infused broth that should still be in the cooking vessel, whisk in the tomato paste and then the butter into the broth (a small amount at a time) to enrich and thicken the broth. 

Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. This will make a delicious sauce for the shellfish, so if you want more to go around feel free to add a bit more stock or even some water. 

6. Pour some of the sauce over the mussels and any remaining should be served on the side with the toasted bread. Garnish with the fresh herbs and a heavy drizzle of olive oil.

Basic Mexican Chorizo 

serves 4 to 6  

This sausage is as tasty as it is versatile. You can crumble it, sauté it and serve with warm tortillas, crema, cilantro and lime. This sausage is also delicioso en la manana con juevos (translation -- put it in your scrambled eggs, gringa!).  

Ingredients

1 pound ground pork

½ tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt 

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

½ teaspoon chopped Chipotles Chiles en Adobo (Embasa or Frontier brands are best)

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

¼ teaspoon onion powder 

1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar, chilled  

 

Directions 

1. Combine all sausage ingredients (including the tablespoon of vinegar) in a large mixing bowl and mix with your (clean) hands or a wooden spoon to incorporate. Either cover the bowl or wrap sausage mixture in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator to allow mixture to cure overnight (or for at least one hour prior to cooking).  

2. Divide sausage into four ¼ pound patties or 6 to 8 small, slider-sized patties and keep cold until you are ready to cook them.   

3. Sausage may be either grilled or sautéed to desired doneness. Grill/sauté for about 3 minutes on each side for medium (145°-155° on a digital thermometer).

Have we told you how much we love our ground pork? That we save the fat and use it for cooking? That it’s the first thing we pick out of our Larder box to cook for dinner? That it’s acorn fed, pasture raised, heirloom pork that you can’t buy in a store? Why can’t you buy it in a store, you ask? Mostly because we’ve become accustomed to buying cheap pork that comes from huge factory farms that is sold for nothing and small American farmers can’t afford to compete, and we just happen to know a select few who - against all odds - are determined to do it right, keep our farming traditions alive, and provide people with honest, healthy, ethically raised meat.