Sunday Italian Dinner and Birthdays

Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.
Satchel Paige
Pork Butt Italian Style
Pals and birthday dinners…not my typical Italian Sunday dinner, but a special take on a little southern, a shot of Asian, a little Italian and hopefully a blended success of tastes and flavors for a birthday celebration.

A very nice Tuscan kale and Italian sausage dressing will sit alongside the “pulled pork” Italian style, a sweet Asian slaw, and a hazelnut adorned zucchini dish for starters and we ended with a vanilla Panna cotta, brandied strawberry coulis and topped with fresh raspberries. Crazy, but it worked!
Asian Winter Slaw

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Tuscan Salmoriglio Sauce
from Fabio’s American Home Kitchen

For the Pork:
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup kosher slat
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
10 anchovy fillets, chopped ( I used anchovy paste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup beef stock

For the Salmoriglio Sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 shallots, minced
10 fresh mint leaves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Juice from 2 lemons
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tablespoon onion powder

The day before you intend to serve the pork, rub it all over with the kosher salt and sugar. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a large bowl and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

With a wet cloth, wipe the remaining sugar and salt from the surface of the pork. This does not have to be perfect! In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oregano, thyme, anchovies, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth paste. Rub the paste all over the meat.

In a large dutch oven or other oven-safe casserole dish, pour the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add the meat and brown on all sides. I also removed any dark/burnt herb bits from the pot before adding the beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven. Roast the pork until for tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

When the pork is done, combine all the ingredients for the Salmoriglio Sauce in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

kale dressing2