pork and potatoes

This recipe for colcannon may well supplant my standard kale recipe (blanched and sauteed with bacon and onions). It’s so good, and you don’t have to fuss around with boiling and ice water for blanching. The buttery potatoes are flecked throughout with kale, and the fresh tang of the green onions keeps it from being too heavy. Great way to eat your vegetables.

We also tried a recipe for Roast Pork Shoulder, Puerto Rican Style from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. You make a wet rub from garlic, onion, spices, and vinegar (I used orange juice for that last one), cover the roast with it, let it sit for at least an hour, and then bake it at 300F, turning every half hour. The pork came out tender, juicy, and flavorful. I didn’t feel like getting out the food processor, so I spent a long time mincing an onion and some garlic cloves and chiles. (Sometimes I just get into a zen state at the chopping board.) The recipe is very like this recipe for pernil, except that it uses 2 chiles (I used a jalapeno and a dried Korean red chile) in place of the cumin and ancho.

I did try to take pictures of the cooked food, but I think I need to work on lighting and/or technique. The only decent picture was this shot of the minced garlic, onions, and peppers (and, um, a teaspoon).

minced vegetables

Anyway, it’s a perfectly decent recipe; we’ll probably make it again if we get another pork shoulder from the ranch. Michael Chiarello’s Forever Roasted Pork is still my favorite, but Bittman’s recipe is significantly less fussy, and quicker as well.

Finally, since we had even more potatoes, I consulted my faithful standby, The New Best Recipe. Although it was disappointingly unhelpful on the subject of pork shoulders, it did have a recipe for scalloped potatoes. They had a version that incorporated chipotle chiles and smoked cheddar, and we just happened to have some smoked cheddar that we picked up from the Dutch Country farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago. Score!

To make the potatoes, you cook a minced onion in butter until soft, then add in flavorings. When those are incorporated, add in thinly sliced potatoes (I used our Borner V-slicer, which is a fantastic tool provided you keep your knuckles well clear of the blade) and simmer in cream and broth until tender. Then you pour everything into a baking dish, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake until the top is browned.

It’s a luxurious recipe, creamy and buttery, but it’s also dang spicy. It’s amazing how one chopped chipotle chile can just infuse itself throughout the potatoes, and it produces a lingering burn that permeates every mouthful. Definitely serve this one with something more mild. Cook’s Illustrated has the recipe behind a pay wall, but this one here seems like pretty much the same thing.