Berkshire Pork "Rib" Braised in Dr. Pepper with Potato Salad, Texas Toast & Espresso Glaze

Randy Rucker, Laidback Manor - July/August 2006

For 12 servings (requires advance preparation)

Pork:

• 1 sachet (3 fresh thyme sprigs, 3 fresh bay leaves, 3 fresh Italian parsley sprigs, and 1 Tbsp. each toasted coriander seeds, toasted black peppercorns, toasted fennel seeds, toasted cumin seeds, and dried juniper berries)
• 4 cups Dr. Pepper
• 1 Berkshire pork butt or shoulder

  1. Place sachet, Dr. Pepper, and pork in vacuum bag; seal; marinate 12 hours in refrigerator.

  2. Poach bag in 160°F water bath until internal temperature of pork reaches 160°F.

  3. Remove pork from the bag; transfer to a platter; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.

  4. Discard sachet; strain liquid through fine chinois; reserve in refrigerator.

Pork jelly:

• 4 lg. egg whites
• 1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
• 1/4 cup carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1/4 cup celery, chopped

Bring Dr. Pepper stock, egg whites, onion, carrot, and celery to a simmer in a deep saucepan set over medium heat; simmer without stirring until raft forms; ladle through fine chinois lined with coffee filter; discard solids; reserve in refrigerator.

Assembly:

• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground
• potato salad
• Texas toast (1"-thick slices of white bread, toasted and well buttered)
• espresso glaze (2 cups each pineapple juice, espresso, Dr. Pepper, and chicken stock; 2 Tbsps. tomato paste; and 2 Tbsps. molasses reduced to syrupy consistency)

  1. Pull pork meat apart; remove fat; transfer meat to a bowl; season.

  2. Warm jelly in a saucepan set over low heat; add to pork; stir well.

  3. Spread pork on sheet pan; cover with plastic wrap; cover with another sheet pan; weight to compress; place in refrigerator; chill at least 6 hours.

  4. To serve, cut compressed pork into "ribs"; sear in hot skillet set over high heat; arrange on plates; serve potato salad, Texas toast, and espresso glaze alongside.

What to drink: white Burgundy