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Dissecting the swine


In this game of dining anatomy, match a favorite cut with its
corresponding recipe and all bellies are guaranteed to come out winners.


By Phyllis Stein-Novack

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 10, 2013

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I was happy as a school-girl two days before New Year’s Eve when big, fluffy snowflakes began to fall. It only lasted a few hours, but it was pretty to watch as my colorful pansies were dusted with snow.


I immediately began to think about dinner. I had not made pork in many months, and since the weather has turned cold, a rich, hearty Pork Stew came to mind.


The best cut for this braised dish is pork shoulder, which also is known as butt. Buy about three pounds of boneless pork shoulder and ask your butcher to cut it into 2-inch pieces.


As my stew simmered, I realized pork is somewhat like chicken in that it adapts to all sorts of recipes from around the world. There are so many cuts to choose from: Pork chops; boneless pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork loin roasts and crown roast of pork.


Although I grew up eating bacon, I did not taste my first pork chop until I was in my 20s when a roommate brought some home. Lucky for us, her father was a butcher and supplied us with all sorts of meat.


Ever think of making a stir-fry with strips of boneless pork? It’s as tender as chicken, you can spice it up and use any vegetables you have on hand.


Here’s to snow days.


Pork Stew


Ingredients:

3 pounds of boneless pork shoulder, bring to room temperature, wipe dry with paper towels and cut into 2-inch pieces 

Enough Canola oil to coat the bottom of a 4-quart pot

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

4 fat cloves of garlic, sliced

2 bay leaves

3 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups of chicken stock


Directions:


Heat the oil over medium-high. Working in batches, add the pork and brown on all sides. Remove the pork to a bowl using a slotted spoon.


Sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic over medium-high for about five minutes. Return the pork to the pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients, stir well until the tomato paste is blended. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about three hours.


Serves four to six.


Pork Chops with Apples 
and Fennel


Ingredients:

4 rib pork chops, bring to room temperature and wipe dry with paper towels

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 apples, such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled, cored and sliced into matchstick-size pieces.

1 large fennel bulb, sliced into thin strips

1 cup of dry white wine

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter


Directions:


Score the fat around each chop with a paring knife to prevent them from curling. Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper.


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