Cantankerous Root Vegetables for the Win
You know what’s good? Spending a few hours coaxing techy root vegetables into a perfect pork partnership
We’re starting to see more leafy greens around, but I’m still working on using the root vegetables that have been stored for months and remain a big part of our weekly CSA share. Especially carrots, turnips, celeriac, beets, parsnips, potatoes, and shallots. Beets are the hardest, because they dominate everything. (Did I write about that beet/cabbage soup I made? That was easy, and great.) Potatoes, shallots, even carrots – you can always use them. It’s the others that take some effort, or at least thought.
Speaking of effort, I will admit up front that this is not the easiest or most carefree recipe: It’s simple enough, but time-consuming, and not without a bit of work. I went start-to-finish in four hours (including freezing the stock so I could skim the fat, which is a step you could skip), with probably an hour of active work. But it’s a very comforting and pleasant way to pass an afternoon while you’re doing other work at the same time. Each step is a reward, and the end result is pretty great.
So: I had a small piece of pork shoulder, with its bone; that helped. I pressure cooked that for ninety minutes in a mixture of about a cup of soy sauce, half as much water, a glug of honey, some chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, dried lime, star anise, allspice, cloves, maybe that was it – let’s say a variety of spices. (I thought the star anise and honey were most important here, along with the soy sauce, of course.)