As the fog clings to the ridge of autumnal foliage, so do I cling to the plaid wool covers that rest on my lap. These are the days when reading a book by the fireplace is about all I can muster. I want to enjoy the soggy, foggiest of days of fall as much as the past summer days spent in the sun. I want to soak in, dig deep and fall asleep surrounded by a clouded mountain. And it’s also on these days when I want something warm and comforting that requires the slightest amount of effort. Braised pork simmering and shimmering slowly in the oven, marrying with apples, sweet onions and garlic is what I want. It’s blanketed in its own cloud of steaming pressed apple cider as it tenderly breaks down the meat for hours and hours on end while I doddle the day away. All the flavors of fall without the fuss, that’s what I prescribe on a blustery, foggy, lazy, lovely day.
Recipe: Adapted from Bon Appétit/October 2012
1 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1 head of garlic
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
3 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of apple cider
12 ounces of ginger ale
3 sprigs of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Tie pork together with kitchen twine to create a cylinder, tying ½ inch interval knots. Place the pork in a heavy-bottomed pot, uncovered, at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300o
Place onion, garlic, chicken stock, apple cider and ginger ale in the pot with the pork. On a high flame, bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture has come to a boil, place a lid on the pot and leave in oven to cook for 4-5 hours. Allow pork to cool and place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 350o
Place the pork on a cutting board and cut the strings from the meat and discard. Slice the pork into ½ -1-inch medallions and place in a shallow roasting tray. Strain the sauce and add half of the liquid to the pork (discard remaining liquid.) Place sprigs of rosemary around the pork. Cover tightly with foil. Place in oven for 20 minutes, just to heat the pork through. Discard the rosemary springs. Serve with roasted vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!