This simplicity of this dish means the flavour depends on the quality of the pork and tomatoes. Oaxaca-grown chile de agua look like a smaller poblano but are much hotter. Since they’re not widely available, Kennedy suggests using a fresh green chili.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours
1 kilogram (2 1/4 pounds) pork shoulder or stewing pork, with some fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 sprigs Oaxacan oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons melted lard or vegetable oil, if necessary
800 g (1 3/4 pounds) tomatoes, roasted (recipe below)
1 to 2 serrano chilies, toasted
Cilantro leaves (optional)
800 grams (1 3/4 pounds) ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pork:
Place the pork in a pot where it fits snugly with garlic, oregano and salt. Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until meat is almost cooked, about 40 to 50 minutes. Strain and reserve the broth. You will need about 6 cups, so reduce over high heat or add water to get to that amount.
Return meat to pan with 11/2 cups broth and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until broth is absorbed, meat is tender and fat has melted. Lightly brown the meat in the fat, adding the lard if necessary.
To toast chilies:
Place in a nonstick pan over medium heat and let skin blacken. Peel skin off before using. It will be less hot if you discard the seeds.
For the roasted tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut tomatoes in half and scrape out seeds. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side up on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until skins are browned and shrivelled and tomatoes are soft.
Process tomatoes and chilies in food processor until fairly smooth and add to pan.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to prevent sticking, until sauce is very thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining broth and simmer until sauce is reduced to a medium consistency, about 15 minutes. There should be enough sauce to coat the meat. Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.
The spicy, aromatic pork, with its subtly sweet tomato sauce, pulls me in two directions. Try a fruity, chilled rosé or a supple, savoury red based on grenache, such as cannonau from Sardinia. - Beppi Crosariol
Using Indian spices in a subtle manner enhances the flavour of pork wonderfully, as you’ll find in the recipe below. If you don’t have a spice grinder, use ground spices, although they don’t have the same depth of flavour. For an accompanying apple compote, spy or Granny Smith apples are best. I also used a crisp, dry Ontario cider to give it extra richness. (Cider production is a growing trend in Canada, with a few being made in Ontario and more than 40 produced in Quebec.) Serve this dish with curried lentils.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes
From tacos, to pork belly extravaganzas, the sandwich is having a culinary moment. One of the juiciest, tastiest sandwiches I ever had was at Publican Quality Meats in Chicago, a real deli with a commitment to making the best charcuterie and artisan meat.
I convinced Kassie Rath, a butcher at the store, to share the pork belly recipe. Have the pork on hand for a quick sandwich supper or great lunch treat. It keeps for a week in its broth. The potato bread is my own quick-bread recipe with no yeast or rising time, perfect for a sandwich. Can’t be bothered? Use a ciabatta bun as a substitute.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready time: 24 hours, including chill time
Serves: 4 big eaters or 8 smaller ones
2 teaspoons juniper berries, optional
2 teaspoons chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 kilograms (4 pounds) pork belly
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery stalk
6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups beef, pork or chicken stock
3 cups peeled and grated starchy potatoes, about 500 grams (1 poundlb)
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup roasted garlic
Ground pepper to taste
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons tbsp chopped mint
1/2 cup yogurt
Vegetable salsa or relish for spreading rolls
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Combine all marinade ingredients, except for oil and brown sugar, in a blender. Blend while gradually adding in oil. Mix in brown sugar after mixture is smooth.
Cross-hatch pork belly skin every half inch. Heat a large casserole over high heat and sear pork belly to render out fat and brown, about 5 to 7 minutes a side. Remove from pan and rub or spoon the marinade over pork.
Turn heat down to medium and add vegetables and garlic to casserole. Sauté for 3 minutes and add white wine. Reduce wine by half then add stock. Place belly back into liquid and cover tightly with a lid.
Bake in oven for 2-1/2 hours or until pork is very tender. Cool in liquid. Remove pork and place on baking sheet. Chill liquid. Place smaller baking sheet on top. Place a weight over and let rest for 2 hours. Spoon fat off chilled liquid and return pork until needed.
Sprinkle grated potatoes with salt in a large bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and gently squeeze to remove extra starch and liquid.
Combine grated potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Stir in flour, baking powder, milk, melted butter and rosemary. Turn out mixture onto a board and bring together, dough will be sticky. Knead for 3 minutes, adding additional flour as needed, up to ½1/2 cup.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Position racks in upper and lower third of oven.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into 6-inch circles on a lightly floured board. Place rounds on buttered baking sheets and brush generously with beaten egg. Mark each roll into quarters with a cross and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned. Cool on a rack before slicing. Makes 4 rolls.
To assemble sandwiches:
At the deli, they finish the sandwich with roasted broccoli salsa but any vegetable salsa or relish is good.
Slice pork belly into ½1/2-inch thick slices against the grain. Split rolls in half and cut in half horizontally. Fry pork belly in dry skillet over medium high heat until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Mix together 2 tablespoons tbsp chopped mint with ½1/2 cup yogurt. Spread bottom halves of potato rolls with a salsa. Top each with pork belly, yogurt mixture and baby kale or watercress.
May I suggest a beer for this belly? India Pale Ale, a strongly bitter style, cleanses and invigorates the palate in the face of all that fatty pork. The herbal hop character also resonates with the vegetable salsa or relish. Look especially for a robust version from a microbrewery versus one of those wimpy big-brew IPAs. Alternatively, choose a red wine with strong acidity, such as bright, fruity Beaujolais from France or a crisp, earthy Chianti from Tuscany. And consider serving the wine in a plain tumbler rather than a fancy stem. This is blue-jean cuisine; dress the wine accordingly. - Beppi Crosariol
One thing I always love about Thanksgiving is the stuffing. Here’s a recipe to serve alongside the hens. This also serves as a starch.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons butter
2 oz (60 g) diced bacon
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and light green part only)
3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
1 cup vacuum packed chestnuts
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon cracked fennel seeds
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup whipping cream
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Add bacon and sauté for 2 minutes or until just crisping.
Add leeks and napa cabbage and sauté for 6 minutes or until everything is soft.
Add chestnuts, tarragon, fennel seeds and lime juice and cook for 2 minutes or until flavours are combined.
Stir in cream and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Season well with salt and pepper.
Place in oven-proof baking dish, cover and bake 30 minutes beside the hens.
This traditional recipe is from Emilia-Romagna where butter is often used instead of olive oil. Use another short pasta such as orrechiette when garganelli (an egg pasta cut into a square then rolled from the tip into a tubular shape) is not available.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes
8 ounces (250 grams) garganelli
1/3 cup butter
1 cup grated Parmigiano
1 cup chopped onion
3 ounces (90 grams) prosciutto, sliced
4 ounces (125 grams) frozen or fresh peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Drain when al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to cooking pot. Stir in half the butter and half of Parmigiano.
Place a skillet over medium heat, while pasta is cooking and add remaining butter. Add chopped onion and prosciutto. Sauté gently without allowing it to colour, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta water to cook peas. Simmer until peas are just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add pasta to skillet and stir together. Bring to the table with remaining Parmigiano, serve separately.
There’s nothing in Italy’s hallowed food region of Emilia-Romagna to rival the reputation of Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino from next-door Tuscany. In fact, Emilia-Romagna is home to one of the most maligned wines ever, lambrusco, a typically frothy, often sweet red popular during the disco era that went by such brand names as Riunite and Chiarli Castelvetro. If you can find a good, dry lambrusco (they exist now), try it with the garganelli. Beppi Crosariol
Use spicy pancetta if you like heat. Make sure it is thinly sliced.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
12 thin slices pancetta
¼ cup butter, room temperature
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup kale sprouts or other sprouts
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place a round of pancetta into a mini muffin cup. Repeat to make 12 cups. Bake until pancetta is crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and dry off on paper towels.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Add eggs to skillet reserving about ¼ cup. Slowly whisk eggs until softly scrambled, about 4 minutes. They should be quite smooth with some eggy curds in them. Add in the remaining egg mixture and butter and whisk together. Cook until just incorporated.
Place eggs in pancetta cups on a bed of lentils and garnish with sprouts.
Dry bubbly has a way of waltzing gracefully with eggs where most other wines would trip and stumble with bitter consequences. Prosecco from Italy is a fashionable choice, and it’s a lot cheaper than champagne. Beppi Crosariol
This is the signature dish of Daniela Molettieri from Quebec’s Institut de tourism et d’hôtellier. Add a few steamed root vegetables for colour. To toast hazelnuts, place them whole in baking pan in 350 F oven for about 8 minutes or until golden and fragrant.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 1½ hours
Butternut Squash and Roasted Hazelnut Puree:
1½ pounds (750 grams) peeled and diced butternut squash
½ cup diced butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
3 tablespoons butter
8 oz (250 grams) finely chopped mixed mushrooms
½ cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup dried mushrooms, preferably porcini
1½ cups veal or beef stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 veal or pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds/1 kilogram)
Bring squash to boil in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until very soft. Drain well and return to pot. Using potato masher, mash until smooth with ½ cup butter, salt and pepper. Stir in hazelnuts. Set aside and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; cook mushrooms, shallots, thyme and garlic together, stirring occasionally until any liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool. Season with salt and pepper.
Butterfly the veal tenderloins by cutting them through the middle to about 1/2-inch of the other side. Open like a book. Stuff with enough mushroom mixture to make a thin layer and close back up.
Tie tenderloins with butcher’s twine at about 2-inch intervals and place seam-side down on parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Season with pepper and salt. Place in oven and roast for about 45 to 55 minutes depending on thickness or until meat thermometer reaches 140 F for medium rare. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Combine dried mushrooms and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to about half. Drain through a fine mesh sieve and return stock to saucepan. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt pepper, if needed.
Spread squash in centre of plate and place veal slices alongside. Spoon sauce beside meat.
The combination of veal with mushrooms and hazelnuts strongly points in Italy’s direction. So as not to overpower the delicate meat, consider a medium-bodied red, such as earthy Chianti Classico. Rioja from Spain is another fine option. But don’t shy away from most Italian or Spanish whites, either. Veal is friendly to both colours. Beppi Crosariol
Serve as a side dish with sautéed spicy pork or combine with pasta for a main course. I sometimes process them into a purée and serve as a side with meat or chicken. You can use fava or broad beans too.
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes including soaking time
Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Ready In: 2½ hours
2 cups dried large lima or broad beans
1 lemon cut in quarters
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 onion cut in quarters
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon seeded chopped red chili pepper
2 ounces (60 grams) prosciutto, diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Cover lima beans with water by 2 inches in a pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat, cover and let sit for one hour. Drain well and rinse beans.
Place beans back into pot; add lemon, garlic, onion, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with water by an inch and bring to boil. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer beans until tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and discard flavourings except for garlic cloves.
Heat oil in sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili and prosciutto and sauté until onions are quite soft, another 5 minutes. Add beans and toss in oil and flavourings. Add 1½ cups reserved bean cooking liquid and reserved whole garlic cloves (peeled).
Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until beans have a thick sauce. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.
This recipe is from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef. Itis a joyous book, celebrating life and food with tongue-in-cheek humour. More than a cookbook, it is a memoir, a history of Montreal, tales of people, places and things with a little philosophy thrown in. It is completely irreverent. The quote with this recipe tells all. “We can’t explain why this helps cure hangovers, but it does. It’s like a vitamin with a sugar coating (the coating being the bacon and butter).”
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Small squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 egg (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain well and squeeze lightly. Transfer to a cutting board and chop finely. Set aside.
In a frying pan, fry bacon over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes, or until crisp. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent. Lower the fire to medium-low, add the garlic, and sweat for 1 minute. Add the kale, wine, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to blend the flavours. If the mixture looks really shiny, scoop out a little of the fat and add a bit of water, and then add the butter. Mix in the lemon juice.
Move the bacon and kale mixture to a plate and fry an egg in the same pan. Serve the egg of top of the bacon and kale. Go to bed.
Tourtière is the savoury centrepiece of réveillon, the traditional Québécois dinner held on Christmas Eve. Light and flaky pastry is the key to this dish – you want to keep the focus on the subtly spiced filling. Make it ahead of time and reheat at 350 F until piping hot (about 25 minutes.)
Servings: 8 to 10
Ready In: 3 hours, 45 minutes
3 cups all purpose flour
1½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 250 grams) unsalted butter, frozen
⅓ cup cold water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups onion, chopped
2 pounds (1 kilogram) ground pork
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cayenne or more to taste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried savoury
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons rolled oats
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Grate frozen butter into dough. Toss together lightly, leaving some streaks of butter in the dough.
Combine water and vinegar and sprinkle over flour mixture, a little at a time, tossing together with a fork until the pastry is moist enough to hold its shape when pressed between fingers.
Gather pastry into a ball, it should not feel sticky. (Add a sprinkling more flour if it is.)
Flour the counter or pastry board lightly. With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12-inches. Fold the pastry into thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough so the open edges face you and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat this procedure once more. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill one hour. For smaller pies, use half of dough, larger ones need two-thirds or all of it. Freeze any remaining dough for another occasion. Roll dough out to a ¼-inch thickness.
Heat oil in a skillet or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground pork and cook, stirring to break up clumps of meat until pinkness disappears, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and all the spices, stir together and sauté for 1 minute.
Add beef broth and oats. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pork is cooked and mixture is thick. If it is not thick enough remove the lid and cook until it is moist but not runny. Stir in parsley and remove bay leaf. Add additional salt, pepper or spices as needed. Cool.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Divide pastry in half. Roll out half to fit a 9 or 10-inch deep pie plate or loose bottom flan pan. Add filling. Cover with remaining pastry, sealing edges and cutting away any excess. Make 3 or 4 incisions on top of pastry to allow steam to escape and decorate with a few pastry leaves. Brush with egg yolk.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes. If the pastry browns too quickly, tent it with foil until finished cooking. Serve hot or cold. Serves 8 to 10.