Foods

Berkshire Pork Cassoulet Recipe

A satisfying, warm braised dish that uses the most flavourful Berkshire pork shoulder as its base. Ideal cold weather comfort food!

In Japan, the prized “black pigs” (often with white spots on the snout) are called Kurobuta. In the UK from where they hail, they’re called Berkshire pork and they’re a heritage breed that for over four centuries, has been known as the most flavourful pork of all. Whatever you choose to call them, these pigs are the re-discovered industry standard amongst food cognoscenti and restaurants all over the globe.

Berkshire used to be a little-known item in North America- the majority of the pigs being sold to Japan. But that’s all changed now. Good butchers and gourmet shops carry fine product that you can take home to craft memorable meals.

And just to keep you in the spirit of merriment and entertaining. Say oui to a sexy blend of vodka, chambord and cranberry juice. Oh la la!

Braised Berkshire Shoulder Cassoulet Recipe

Serves 6-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in shoulder
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 6 slices of bacon or fresh Berkshire belly
  • 2 cups dry navy beans (soaked in water over night)
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 L chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry wild mushrooms (black trumpet, chanterelle, porcini)
  • ½ Lbs butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Begin by seasoning the shoulder very liberally with salt and pepper, then roast in a 375*F oven to brown and render some fat.
2. At the same time cut all carrots, onion, celery, bacon or pork belly into 1 inch pieces, begin to cook in a large pot with the butter, chopped garlic, bay and thyme. Caramelize the vegetables, add tomato paste, dry mushrooms and soaked beans, season with salt.
3. Once pork is browned add it to the vegetables , cover with chicken stock and slowly stew covered in the oven for up to 3-4 hours at 300*F.
4. When the beans are very tender and the pork will easily pull from the bone, remove the pot from the oven, allow to stand for twenty minutes, then pull the meat from the bone, and serve in a deep bowl with the beans.

Serve with crusty baguette and perhaps some hot mustard or dill pickles.

Although this recipe is not a classic cassoulet recipe, the method is similar, this is a one pot large party dinner. By cooking the shoulder with the bone in, you can maximize the flavor and subsequently don’t need to know how to butcher it, because it will easily be portioned after braising.

French Martini Recipe

Combine:

  • 1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
  • .5 oz Chambord
  • Splash cranberry

Pour into Martini glass. Garnish with orange peel of Lemon to extract maximum flavours.

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