It was supposed to be a thank-you-for-all-the-love-and-birthday-presents dinner, but it turned out to be a bit of a messy even with an ever changing list of mobile calorie intake units guests. I ended up cooking for 8 (plus blog), when only 6 had confirmed. To make things works, one of the units guests got lost in Dübendorf looking for my flat (true story). It might have been a blessing in disguise: again, I had to fight bravely for the last piece of meat to feed my blog… That good it was. For bonus points, it is super easy to do. You just put it in the stove and (sort of) forget about it. And, happy guests, happy host.
Slow roasted smoked pork shoulder with chipotle mayonnaise (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking)
For the pork
- 3 tablespoons hot smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar cane
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves finely chopped, stems reserved
- Olive oil
- 2.5Kg pork shoulder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chipotle mayonnaise
- 300g mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of chipotle paste
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Preheat the oven to 140ºC
Mix the paprika, sugar, garlic and thyme leaves in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then add a little olive oil to create a paste. Rub the mixture all over the pork, massaging it into the meat. If possible, leave in the fridge overnight to marinate. If not, you can start cooking straight away.
Roast for 1 hour, then cover with foil and cook for a further 4–5 hours, until the meat is really tender and falling off.
Meanwhile, make the chipotle mayonnaise. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Once the pork is cooked, cover it loosely with foil and set aside to rest for up to 1 hour. Serve with the smoky mayonnaise.
A confession – this dish is not my creation but have no idea where the recipe comes from… I found it some place lost in The Internets, made the dish and forgot to bookmark it. By the time I wanted to cook it again, was not able to find it and the details had washed away. So, I kind of have to recreate it from memory. After all, it is a good Summer dish. The white wine and tarragon flavors combine for a light and fragrant sauce, which compliments the chicken perfectly. Caramelising the onions with the star anise makes them feel meatier, a trick I have learnt from George Calombaris during one of his Masterchef Australia’s Masterclass. I found it had to believe, but it works and slightly aniseed flavor is also a bonus.
Pan fried chicken with a white wine, mushroom and tarragon sauce.
- 2 Chicken thighs
- Flour (I used Maizena)
- 4 Medium size yellow onions, sliced in half-moons
- 3 Star anise
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 500g Button mushrooms, cut in 2cm slices
- Tarragon to taste finely chopped (I used about 4 bunches)
- 100mL dry white wine
- 200mL chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil.
Dip each chicken drumstick in the flour, salt and pepper to coat them lightly. In a sauté pan, put the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of oliver oil over medium-high heat. When it is shimmer, add the chicken thighs, and cook them for about 3 minutes on each side, until they get a little golden. Take them out from the heat and reserve.
In the same pan, put the sliced onions and the star anise, salt and pepper. Let it caramelise for about 15min, or until they are soft and translucent. Once they are ready, take them out from the heat and reserve.
While the onions are cooking, heat the equivalent of 2 olive oil tablespoons in another sauté pan. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, fold in the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned (about 15min). Take them out from the heat and reserve.
In the same sauté pan you cooked the chicken thighs and the onions, put the 100mL of wine to deglaze. Let the wine reduce on a medium heat, and then put in the mushrooms and onions . Mix well to combine and let them absorb the wine for 5min. Put the chicken thighs in, and add enough stock to cover them. Once the stock is bubbling, fold in the tarragon. Let it is simmer for about 30min or until the stock is almost totally evaporated