PORK WITH PRUNES, OLIVES AND CAPERS

Time for comfort food. This is great on the day it is prepared, but even better a couple of days later, so it is one of those perfect dishes for entertaining. I went the extra mile and cut the pieces of meat myself, from a large bone-in pork shoulder. I suspect if you buy pork stew meat it will work nicely too, and save you quite a bit of work. Zen work, but… sometimes even that seems a bit much. There is a ton of flavor, so you don’t need to brown the meat, just marinate it overnight and it will be perfect.

PORK WITH PRUNES, OLIVES AND CAPERS
(adapted from Nigella Lawson)

1.5kg pork shoulder – diced into pieces
375 ml dry white wine
200g pitted prunes
75g pitted black olives
2 Tbsp capers
2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
2½ tsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
250ml water
lemon juice to taste
fresh parsley leaves to serve (optional)

In a large freezer bag add the diced pork, wine, prunes, olives, capers, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and marinade overnight in the fridge.

Before cooking it, take out of the fridge a couple of hours before it goes in the oven to bring it to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 300 F.

Put the marinated pork into a large casserole dish, then add water.  Stir together, put the lid on cook in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. The pork will be soft and tender. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if so desired, and a nice squeeze of lemon juice.  

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Perfect meal to prepare during the weekend, although it could also be marinated early in the morning, stay full day in the fridge, and cook in the evening. Then it can go back to the fridge for a fantastic dinner next evening, absolutely effortless.  If you don’t care for capers or briny flavors, this might not be for you, it’s really the most prominent flavor. I happen to love it.

We enjoyed it with cauliflower puree, but obviously it would be a nice match for other side dishes, from mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even a hearty pasta too.

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NIGELLA LAWSON IN THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN

Did I get your attention? Well, unfortunately she was not here in person. I would love to have her over for dinner, but this time it was just virtually through one of her tasty recipes.  Nigella is clearly a person who is happy in her own skin,  someone who enjoys life to the fullest. Watching her cooking shows brings me that “I’ll have what she’s having” feeling… And, to make things even better, her recipes are never too fussy.  I have several of her cookbooks, but for some reason forgot all about them for a long time. The other day, talking to my friend Denise, she reminded me of one of Nigella’s recipes, a favorite of hers. A chicken and sausage one pan kind of deal. I immediately remembered making it years ago, before my blogging life started. Got this absurd craving for it, made it next day (!!!), fell in love with it all over again.  Sent a picture to Denise, and that’s when we realized we were talking about two different recipes.  Obviously, I now have another one to try. They both join poultry with sausage, but one takes Italian sausage, the other chorizo. One has potatoes, the other doesn’t. And a few more departures on the overall flavor. Anyway, I sense a Nigella-phase in our kitchen.  Yeah, I must have what she’s having…

ROAST CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SAGE AND SAUSAGE
(modified from Nigella Lawson)

1 medium shallot
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons English mustard
1 tablespoon dried sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 lemons
8 chicken thighs, bone and skin in
6 Italian sausages
salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves

Peel and cut the shallot into four pieces, and put into a freezer bag with the oil, mustard, dried sage, a good grinding of pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cut lemons in half, squeeze juice into bag, and then cut the halves into eighths and add them. Squeeze everything around to mix, then add the chicken pieces. Leave to marinade in the refrigerator for a few hours (overnight is perfect).

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature in its marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting tin skin side up with the marinade, including all the bits and pieces, and tuck the sausages around them. Season with salt. Sprinkle the fresh sage leaves over the chicken and sausages and then put the pan into the oven, covered with aluminum foil for  to cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil, increase heat to 425 F and keep roasting until the skin turns golden brown and starts to crisp up.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This is such an easy recipe to put together! It is originally from her cookbook Feast, but she featured the recipe in one of her shows back in the good old times of FoodTV Network. I modified it quite a bit not so much in terms of ingredients, but cooking method, because as I’ve mentioned a few times in the past, I think nothing beats the texture of chicken that starts cooking low and slow. For weeknights this would be a bit tricky, this is the type of cooking I reserve for weekends.

Phil loved this so much that he started getting nervous about the possibility of not enjoying it again for another 8 years. He kept dropping hints:  ” I would not mind having this chicken every couple of weeks… Actually, you “could” make it weekly, you know?”  So there you have it, it’s really a wonderful way to enjoy chicken, with the spicy tasty bits of sausage, and the flavors of sage and lemon. A keeper.

Dinner is served!
A little pasta with olive oil and grated cheese was all we needed…

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