Poached Pork Shoulder in Buttermilk & Garlic with Bamboo Rice Salad:
It’s Christmas day, and the weather in New England is far from traditional with warm air and heavy rains. We had originally planned to be away skiing this week, but with a seriously sick kitten we needed to stay home. Although not the white Christmas we had hoped for, the fireplace has been ablaze since 10:00am when first I started cooking and the ambiance is festive. I came across a photo for a poached pork roast that looked most enticing and I had been threating to make it for over a month. As a big fan of braising meats slowly for hours, it was time to take a new twist for this holiday dinner. The pork turned out exquisite, both tender and succulent, and the reduced buttermilk sauce added even more moistness. We chose to make sliders with freshly baked buns, Lorraine Swiss, and a horseradish aioli. However, this could have easily been served as thick slices of pork and smothered with the sauce. Accompanied with a side of the Bamboo Rice Salad (a green short grain), with fresh herbs and the roasted fennel bulb, completed an otherwise simple meal notwithstanding the four hour cooking time. In all, if I had to do again and will, I would have simply made more.
SECRET INGREDIENT: Buttermilk
TIP: Don’t try to cook this fast, it deserves the patience to deliver a luscious finish
Poached Pork Shoulder in Buttermilk & Garlic with Bamboo Rice Salad
- Pork Shoulder (5 lbs boneless, skin removed)
- Fresh Rosemary Sprigs (2)
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs (5)
- Fresh Sage Sprigs (2)
- Coarse Salt & fresh ground pepper
- Buttermilk (2 quarts)
- Garlic (3, whole heads, top ½ in cut off)
- Parmesan Reggiano rinds (3)
- Fennel bulb (1, thick slices, fronds remove and reserved)
- Olive oil
- Lay pork flat on a work surface with open cut side facing up. Season generously with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Place herb sprigs in center crosswise. Using cooking twine, wrap and tie thickest end of shoulder. Starting with thinnest end, roll the shoulder tightly with the herbs in the middle. Roll twine tightly in spiral around shoulder and then tie firmly. Season with salt and pepper on all sides.
- In a Dutch Oven or other large pot over medium-high heat, add buttermilk, garlic heads, and parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil, add pork shoulder and reduce to low. Cover and simmer gently for 3 ½ hours.
- Transfer pork to a plate and discard garlic and parmesan rinds.
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Arrange fennel slices in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place pork on top of fennel.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until pork is just crisp.
- Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Boil poaching liquid over moderately high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Strain sauce into bowl. Season to taste.
- Serve either thick cut slices covered in sauce, or as stacked slices in a fresh brioche slider.
For Bamboo Rice Salad
- Bamboo Rice (1 cup) Jansal Valley
- Onion (1 thick slice)
- Butter (1 Tbsp)
- Salt & fresh ground pepper
- Water (2 cups)
- Parmesan Reggiano (1/4 cup, grated)
- Red Onion (1 slice, chopped)
- Fresh Parsley leaves (1 cup)
- Fresh Cilantro leaves (1/2 cup)
- Roasted Fennel fronds (1 cup, chopped) from pork recipe above
- Pea Shoots (1/4 cup, torn)
- Pecans (1/4 cup, toasted and chopped)
- Lime juice (1)
- Olive oil (1 Tbsp)
- In a sauce pan, add rice, onion slice, butter, salt and pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes. Spread rice onto a baking sheet and let cool. Then sprinkle with parmesan.
- In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients and then fold in rice.
-- Weather When Posted --
- Temperature: 46°F;
- Humidity: 51%;
- Heat Index: 46°F;
- Wind Chill: 41°F;
- Pressure: 30.16 in.;