Sunday Dinner – Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions (and some sides)

Music: On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz

We held our annual Holiday party this last weekend.  The usual suspects attended with some new additions.  Next year I’m going to need more chairs! (or a bigger apartment?).  I spent some time with older Bon Appetit magazines and created a really lovely meal.   We made Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions, Green beans with Pancetta and a Mushroom Potato Gratin.

What you’ll need for the spice rub:

1/2 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (preferably gray crystals
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Stir peppercorns and coriander in small skillet over medium heat until spices are darker in color, about 5 minutes.

  • Transfer toasted spices to mortar and pestle and grind finely.

  • Place in small bowl; mix in remaining ingredients.

  • This can be made 1 week ahead.

What you’ll need for the Pork:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds onions plus 2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup of  water
1 7-pound pork shoulder butt with bone
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions and sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 10 minutes.

  • Add water; cover and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover; continue to cook until onions are beginning to brown and water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

  • Sprinkle spice rub on large sheet of foil. Roll pork in rub, pressing to coat (some of rub will be leftover). Set pork on rack in large roasting pan.

  • Top pork with 1/3 of onions; scatter remaining onions around pork in pan.

  • Roast pork and onions until onions are deep brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours.
  • Transfer onions from pan to medium bowl.
  • Flip pork and continue to roast pork until very tender and thermometer inserted into center registers 165°F, about 2 1/2 hours longer.

  • Transfer pork to platter. Keep onions aside and add to green beans.

Green Beans with Sage and Pancetta

What you’ll need:
2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
10 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
Fleur de sel
  • Line baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.
  • Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes depending on size of beans. Drain.
  • Spread beans out on paper towels.
  • Cut pancetta into small cubes.

  • Combine pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet. Sauté over medium heat until pancetta is crisp, separating pieces with 2 forks, about 10 minutes.
  • Add sage and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate.
  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pancetta mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl.

From bonappetit.com

Potato-Mushroom Gratin

What you’ll need for the Gratin:
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for mushrooms
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for mushrooms
1 1/4 cups (or more) heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12 ounces fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush 13x9x2-inch glass or oval ceramic baking dish with 2 tablespoons oil.
  • Cut potatoes into 1/8″ pieces.
  • Arrange 1/3 of potatoes, slightly overlapping, in dish.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour 1/3 cup cream over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering 1/3 of     potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/3 cup cream, and 1/4 cup cheese 2 more times.
  • Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender, adding cream by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven; maintain oven temperature.
  • Sprinkle thyme and garlic slices over gratin.
  • Toss mushrooms in medium bowl with 3 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Arrange mushroom slices atop gratin around edge of dish.
  • Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Continue to bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and potato edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.
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    2 Comments

    Filed under cookbooks, Food Anecdotes, Pork, Recipes, Sides, Sunday Dinner

    2 responses to “Sunday Dinner – Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions (and some sides)

    1. Those beans are gorgeous!!! I love your photos.

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