If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Poached Pork Roast with Garlic Parmesan Cream

My Inspiration as it appeared in Food and Wine

Last Fall, Food and Wine did a major article about roasts.  The one that immediately caught my eye was a picture of a Dutch oven in which, semi-submerged, was a pork shoulder roast swimming in cream surrounded by halved heads of garlic, a parmesan cheese rind, a couple of sage leaves and pats of butter.  I had never imagined poaching pork in the first place.  I took one look at it and thought thank god I’m not kosher.  This breaks every dietary law imaginable.  With apologies to my Jewish readers, I just had to try it.

Surprise Factor

This is no 30-minute recipe although that is all the prep time it takes.  That’s why I am posting it just as the East Coast battens down for a winter snowstorm that will likely leave us housebound for a day or two.  If you are in the path of this storm, I’d run right out and get the ingredients you need to make this heavenly roast.   As it simmers in cream and buttermilk, the meat becomes almost shockingly tender.   Of course, it’s far juicier than pork cooked in the dry heat of your oven.  But the real treat here is the outrageously delicious sauce that combines subtle hints of garlic and the tang of Parmigiano in the richest of cream sauces.  And there’s another aspect to this dish that adds immeasurably to the final plate. The pork is cooked atop wedges of Fennel.  For color I served some simply sautéed spinach.  In the interests of full disclosure, the similarities between this recipe and two others for chicken that I’ve written about earlier, made me decide to omit the recipe instructions to add lemon juice to the sauce.  (If you’re curious, read A Tale of Two chickens here: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2015/04/a-tale-of-two-chickens-jamie-olivers.html.  I also used a pork roast half the size of the one called for in the original and halved the rest of the ingredients.  5 lbs is a lot of pork shoulder! All in all, this really is a dish that will make you wish you could be snowbound more often.  Here is the recipe.

Recipe for Poached Pork Roast with Garlic Parmesan Cream adapted from Food & Wine Magazine Active Time 30 minutes, Total Time 4hrs 45 minutes.  Serves 8.
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 heads of garlic, top 1/2 inch cut off
One 3-ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
2 small sage sprigs
One 5-pound, boneless pork shoulder roast
Kosher salt
4 medium fennel bulbs (3 pounds), trimmed and cut into wedges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. In a pot just large enough to hold the pork, combine the cream with the buttermilk, butter, garlic, cheese rind and 1 sage sprig. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Bring just to a simmer. Cover, leaving it open just a crack, and cook over low heat for about 3 1/2 hours, until very tender. Transfer the pork and garlic to a large plate; discard the cheese rind.
2. Boil the poaching liquid over moderately high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°. On a large baking sheet, toss the fennel and the remaining sage sprig with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the fennel in a single layer. Place the pork on top of the fennel and roast until the pork is deeply golden and the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.

4. Thinly slice the pork. Arrange the fennel and garlic on a platter and top with the pork. Garnish with parsley and serve the sauce on the side.

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