Over time, I've become disheartened by how much the network has changed from a "Chef Based" cooking network to a "Food as Entertainment" network. The same tired things get shown over and over again, the great chefs are gone, and Unwrapped is a bore.
Little by little, I just stopped watching and it occurred to me, recently, that I bet I've only turned it on perhaps once or twice in the past year. In fact, the last thing I remember turning in to watch was the
So, it was surprising to me that I was channel surfing the other night and stopped to watch a young woman prepare a simple and inexpensive Braised Pork Shoulder, and I didn't turn the channel. That's very rare these days. It really did look very easy and tasty, and I thought to myself, as I watched "First, I'd like to make that this weekend, but Second, someone needs to show her how to properly use a knife. It's as if she's never learned." I had no idea who she was until I went online to download and prepare the recipe.
The coincidence is, that she is Melissa d'Arabian who apparently is the most recent winner of that same show -- The Next Food TV Star -- and she is not a chef, which explains her less than polished performance and lack of knife skills. The Braised Pork recipe has all five star reviews from the new fans of her show, Ten Dollar Dinners, so I made it and pronounce it excellent. So fast and easy, really economical without tasting like it, and it reminded me that having a cast iron dutch oven is such a good thing. I need to use it more often.
The complete recipe is here. I'd add less wine next time -- my red wine had too much personality. My progress photos are shown below:
|Rough chopped celery, leeks, onion, carrots, and garlic cloves.|
|A pork shoulder, which cost only $4.85 for the entire package (several pounds), was cut into hunks, seasoned, and seared in a cast iron dutch iron. Mmmm, seared pork.|
|Those babies came out to rest after just getting browned on the outside. I picked all the crispy bits off and ate them. So good.|
|All but a few teaspoons of the pork fat was drained off, and I added the veggies until they were soft, and then added stocks, seasonings, bay leaf, etc., and brought to a boil.|
|The seared pork shoulder was nestled back down into the vegetable stock.|
|Three hours later, I had some beautiful braised pork shoulder and lots of stewed vegetables.|