Braised Apple-Fed Pork with Leeks & Sweet Spices in Hard Cider
Wayne Nish, March, New York City - July/August 1999
For 10 servings
- 1 lb. unsalted butter
- 3 lbs. med. leeks, washed, root and outer layer removed, green ends discarded, and white ends julienned
- 3 lbs. med. Vidalia onions, julienned
- 2 Tbsps. sea salt
- 1 spice sachet (8 star anise, 8 cloves, 12 bay leaves, 1/2 cup green cardamom seeds, 1/2 cup coriander seeds, and 1/2 cup black peppercorns tied in cheesecloth)
- 1 5-lb. fresh pork shoulder or leg with skin on
- 1 750 ml.-bottle French apple cider
Heat butter in large rondeau over medium heat; add leeks, onions, and 1 Tbsp. salt; sweat until soft.
Place spice sachet on vegetables; lay pork on spices skin side up; add cider and remaining salt; cover pork with circle of parchment paper; cover with a lid; reduce heat to low; cook until very tender (about 3 1/2 hours for a shoulder, 4 1/2 hours for a leg).
Remove rondeau from heat; cool pork in covered pot.
Transfer pork to cutting board.
Strain braising stock through fine chinois into a clean saucepan; discard sachet; reserve vegetables.
Set saucepan over medium heat; reduce braising stock to 2 cups; reserve (keep warm).
Remove skin from pork; carve pork into serving pieces.
To serve, place some pork on large dinner plates; place pieces of pork fat and skin next to meat; arrange vegetables on plate; drizzle with sauce.
Chef's Note: At March, a roasted chop from the rack is also added to the plate.