Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recipe : tonno del chianti {slow cooked pork shoulder preserved in olive oil}

tonno del chianti recipe slow cooked pork shoulder
dinner with friends
Inspired by Emiko Davies's gorgeous photos & post on Food52 a couple of weeks ago, I just made a first batch of Tonno del Chianti, a classic Tuscan dish {with rather misleading name!} of slow cooked pork shoulder preserved in extra virgin olive oil.

I love the classic Italian antipasto of preserved tuna, cannellini beans and purple onions - so the pork twist sounded intriguing!

The only recipes I found online were in Italian, but with some basic cooking vocabulary {& a bit of Google Translate} I got an idea of the essence of the dish - so here is my version of Tonno del Chianti:

the aromatics.
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
4 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns

Grind the bay leaves, juniper berries, fennel seeds and thyme.
In a large bowl combine the aromatics with the salt and fresh ground pepper.

the ingredients.
4 pounds of pork shoulder
1 1/2 bottles of dry white wine {pinot grigio}
10 juniper berries
10 black pepper corns
4 bay leaves
1 yellow onion, halved

Trim the meat of any sinew and fatty parts and cut into large chunks.
Add the meat to the bowl and rub the meat with the aromatics until well worked into each piece.
Seal the bowl and let marinate in the fridge for a day or two ...

As with any good pork braise, key is to slow cook the meat for a while - the longer the better!
In a large pot, heat the white wine along with the juniper berries, bay leaves and onion. Let boil for a minute, than dial back to barely simmering. Add the pork shoulder and make sure all meat is completely covered with liquid. If not, add some water to cover.

Check the covered pot occassionally, to make sure the simmer temperature doesn't need adjustments and the meat is still covered in liquid.

After about 2 1/2 hours it's time to check on the meat: two forks should break the chunks into flakes without any resistance.

Sterilize some glass jars and fill each with the meat along with a bay leaf and some juniper berries.
Then, fill up each glass with a good extra virgin olive oil, making sure the meat is completely covered.
Seal the glasses and refrigerate for up to four weeks.

making tonno del chianti tonno del chianti recipe making tonno del chianti

To serve, let the jar come to room temperature.
Serve the meat on a bed of arugula and cannellini bean salad topped with some pickled onions:

slice 1/2 a purple onion into fine stripes.
Heat soome white wine vinegar in small pan, add the sliced onion, turn off the heat and let steep for about 30 minutes.

tonno del chianti pickled onion tonno del chianti with cannellini bean salad

Update: Tonno del Chianti has become a favorite preparation for pork shoulder around this kitchen.
I like to keep a couple of jars in the fridge {along with pickled purple onions} for a spontaneous stove-free dinner ... served for dinner here and there.

Follow along on Instagram ...


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