Dusseldorf, By Way of Eastern NC

“So, are you doing a pulled pork thing?”

That was Chef Chrissie when I told him I was cooking chunks of pork butt low and slow.

“No, I’m going in a German direction, with mushrooms and a mustard cream sauce.”

“Nice.”

Pork in Mustard Cream

2 pounds frozen pork shoulder, with most of the fat removed and cut into 2-3 inch chunks

Dry Brine

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dry thyme

½ teaspoon dry mustard

24-48 hours before cooking, place the still frozen pork into a large zip-top bag.  Sprinkle with dry brine, seal bag, and massage all over the pork.  Store in fridge, and each time you go into the kitchen, massage the bag to evenly distribute the brine.  As the pork thaws, the meat will be infused with the flavor of the brine.

Aromatics

1-2 pounds mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary minced

3 bay leaves

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup beer

Melt butter in large heavy pot with a lid.  Add mushrooms, onions, and herbs.  Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes so the veg can release their water.  Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally until the pot is dry and the veg is lightly caramelized.

Deglaze with beer and let cook until the beer has completely cooked out.  Remove veg and set aside.

Pork

½ cup very fine flour, like Wondra

Vegetable oil

Pour the flour into the bag with the pork chunks.  Shake to coat.  Heat ¼ cup or so of oil, then add the coated pork.  Don’t put too many in at one time, they won’t get crusty and caramelize—leave at least an inch of space around each piece.  Cook on one side until golden brown and crusty (3-5 minutes), then flip and cook the other side.

Remove from pot and cook in batches until all of the pork is done.

Add all the pork and the veg to the pot, turn to around 6-ish.

Roux

½ cup butter

2/3 cups flour

Melt butter, stir in flour, and cook until peanut butter-colored.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Sauce

1 ½ cup chicken stock

1 ½ cup beef stock

¾ cup skim or 2% milk

1 tablespoon dark soy or Worcestershire sauce

3-4 tablespoons mustard

1-2 tablespoons apricot jelly, or maple syrup, or honey (something sweet that fits the flavor profiles)

15-20 gratings of fresh nutmeg

¾ cup heavy cream

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 225° F.

Add all sauce ingredients except cream and salt & pepper to pot with pork and vegetables.

Bring to a boil.  Stir in enough roux to bring to desired gravy thickness.  Take off heat.

Stir in cream. Season, taste, and reseason until it’s perfect.

Cover, and place in oven.  After 90 minutes take out of oven, uncover, and skim off all the fat that has accumulated on the top.

Place back into oven and cook for another 90 minutes.  Remove and check for doneness.  You want it fork-tender, but not falling apart.

Serve over egg noodles.  Reheat leftovers in microwave. 

Or reheat it like I did for Petey: in a covered pan with raw long-grain white rice with an equal amount of water (for example; 1 ½ cups water & 1 ½ cups rice).  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until rice is cooked through.  Serve with a fresh veg or top each serving with a big handful of pea shoots.

“Nice.”

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.

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