Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Philippe Daigle - Patricia Wells, Frederic Anton’s Four-Hour Roast Pork

This recipe comes from Patricia Wells “The Paris Cook book”. Patricia Wells is the restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune and the author of several bestselling books, including The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, The Foods Lover’s Guide to France, Bistro Cooking, and Patricia Wells at Home in Provence. I consider Patricia Wells the master at capturing the essence and simplicity of French food. I have two of her books and refer to them regularly. We in North American perceive French food to be rich, complex, difficult to master and expansive. This recipe is an example of French food simplicity of method and ingredients and if you follow the simple instructions you will be amazed that something with so few ingredients and method can be so tasty. The first time I made this dish my 15 years old daughter took her very first bite and simply said “wow!” You will too, I promise
This recipe is from the Paris restaurant Le Pre Catelan, Route de Suresnes, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16.

 One four pound pork loin roast, bone in ( do not compromise with bone less and do not remove fat)
 Sea salt to taste
 Freshly ground white pepper to taste
 2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
 3 tablespoon of unsalted butter
 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
 6 plump, fresh cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
 2 cups of homemade stock ( substitute for low salt canned if necessary)
 2 large bunches of fresh thyme sprigs
 A large heavy casserole with a lid or Dutch oven.
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
2. Season pork all over with salt and white pepper, and 2 teaspoons of thyme. In a large heavy-duty casserole that will hold the pork snugly, heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and sear well on all sides, about 10 minutes in total. And discard the fat in the casserole. Wipe the casserole clean with a paper towel. Return the pork to the casserole, bone side down. Transfer the pork to a platter and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, combine, butter, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and sea salt to taste. Sweat-cook covered over low heat without coloring-until vegetables are soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Spoon the vegetables around and on top of the pork. Add the chicken stock to the casserole. Add the bunches of thyme and cover.
4. Place the casserole in the center of the oven and braise, basting every 30 minutes for about 4 hours, or until the pork is just falling off the bone. Remove the casserole from the oven. Carefully transfer the meat to a carving board ans season it generously with sea salt and white pepper. Cover loosely with foil and set aside for 15 minutes.
5. While the pork is resting, strain the cooking juice through a fine mesh sieve into a gravy boat, pouring off the fat that rises to the surface. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
6. The pork will be very soft and falling off the bone, so you may not actually be able to slice it. Rather, use a fork and spoon to tear the meat into serving pieces, and place on warmed dinner plates or a warmed platter. Spoon juices over the meat, and serve. Transfer any remaining juices to a gravy boat and pass at the table.

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