Happy Thanksgiving

In Recipes by Ramona Denton0 Comments

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Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are in the Unites States, I trust you are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! And if you are outside the U.S., I wish you a very happy November Thursday, hopefully full of things to be thankful for, along with some great LCHF food!

I braised a pork shoulder earlier this week, so I could spend a little less time in the kitchen today, and a little more time relaxing and enjoying the holiday.

Braised Pork Shoulder

I bought a pork shoulder roast of about 5 lbs, already tied up like you see in the pictures below.

My first task was to chop my veg. I pronounce this “vedge,” but you can say it any way you want. Or not at all. Just think vegetables, and we’ll be on the same page.

Mirepoix is a flavoring made from diced vegetables, seasonings, herbs, which is often used as a bed for meat that is to be braised. Typical French mirepoix ingredients are onion, celery and carrots. In Italy, they more typically use onion, celery and bell pepper. And they call it the holy trinity. I start with the French mirepoix ingredients, and then make various additions.

In this case, I chopped my onion, celery and carrots, along with a few leftover mushrooms and a green onion. The green onions have been just beautiful in the market lately! And then I set it aside until I need it.

With the chopped veg ready to go, I mixed up a few spices to rub onto the meat. I used onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed, sea salt, smoked sea salt, black pepper, white pepper, turmeric and a few Splenda packets. I would have added some Cayenne pepper, but it makes my joints swell, so I have to leave it out. I would use it if I could, though. It adds great flavor!”

After letting the spice-rubbed meat sit for about 30 minutes, I heated some ghee in my braising pot on the stovetop, and browned the meat on every side. Then I set it aside again.

I added more ghee to my pot, and cooked the mirepoix until the veg was soft. I deglazed the pot with port wine. That just means I added the wine, and scraped the bits of browned meat and veg off the bottom of the pot. This stirs these bits of flavor into the braise.

I set the meat back in the pot, on top of the softened veg, and placed it in the oven heated to 175°F. I know that’s a very cool oven, but braising is a slow cook at a low temp. I get better results below 200°F. The big TV chefs braise at 375°F sometimes, but that has dried out some of my braises, so I go a lot lower. For a big chunk of meat like this maybe it would be ok, but ribs dry out fast when cooked at too high a temperature, so I especially go low when I’m braising ribs!

A few hours later, I had a tender, juicy pork shoulder! I let the meat rest for 40-45 minutes, and then sliced a few slices off, and cut the rest into bigger chunks to shrink-wrap and freeze. As a family of one, this is enough meat to feed me for over a week.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

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If you want to learn more about braising, a great place to start is bon appetit magazine’s 4 Simple Rules for Braising Anything.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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