Picture This

Fregola Sarda with Slow Roasted Pork and Vegetables:

Cooking for me has always been spontaneous – a firecracker of inspiration, immediately followed by a serious of iniquitous acts that come together in a symphony of meaningful decisions that somehow result in what others remind me as being “memorable.” Served hot and with meaning, it’s what makes cooking fun. However rejection can be equally spontaneous and far more lingering. I rarely ever experience rejection from the smiles that come from those that have tasted what I cook, but recently felt the steel blade of denial from our posted photographs to, let’s say, a formidable foodie site. Having 2013_prep01recently upgraded the ability to document our epicurean adventures with quality photography lighting, getting the cold iron boot was somewhat surprising. I recognize whole heartedly that we have not yet mastered the fine art of “really good” food photography, but it was the cryptic reply that read – “cropped too tight” on one, and “not bright enough” on another that left the hollow void as if I had not added enough butter to a sauté. The hard part is always balance. Do you want to dive into that hot tasty meal you just forged, or pine over the placement of a fork and table setting until your culinary creation falls to the cold of neglect? For now, I must leave you with the visual silence of not seeing one of the more tasty dishes to date. Just close your eyes, and picture spoon in mouth and a slow smiling grin.

SECRET INGREDIENT: Crushed fennel seeds added a distinctive uniqueness

TIP: Fregola Sarda is a toasted peppercorn-sized pasta from Sardinia. Cook in salted water for 15 minutes, but then let it simmer and finish in the sauté to soak up the pan drippings.

Fregola Sarda with Slow Roasted Pork and Vegetables

  • Pork Shoulder (preferable bone-in)
  • Spice rub (smoked salt, fresh pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin) Crushed fennel and celery seeds (grind in mortar and pestle)
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots (cut large pieces)
  • Parsnips(cut large pieces)
  • Onion (cut large pieces)
  • Fregula Sarda pasta
  • Garlic (chopped)
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Thyme
  • Butter (2 Tbl)
  • White wine (1/2 cup)
  • (roasting pan drippings)
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Parmesan

Season the pork shoulder with spice rub, preferably a day ahead but at least for a few hours prior to roasting. In a Dutch oven, sear all sides of pork with olive oil. Add carrots, parsnips, and onions and 1 cup hot water. Cover pan and roast at 250°F for 4-6 hours or until reaches 185°F internal (170°F internal is “sliceable”, 195°F is ideal “pullable”). Remove from oven and let rest.

Simmer 1 cup Fregula Sarda in 2 cups of salted water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In sauté pan, add olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes, sauté for 5 minutes, and then add butter. Once butter is melted, add wine and sauté for 1 minute. Add Fregula Sarda to pan and stir. Add roasting pan drippings and more stock to cover Fregula Sarda. Let simmer for 10 minutes on low heat until Fregula Sarda is al dente. Season to taste, then add roasting pan vegetables and pulled pork. Finish with chopped tomatoes, parsley, and parmesan. Serve hot.



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  • Pressure: 29.82 in.;

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