Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Roasted Pork and Nebbiolo!

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

G.D. Vajra "Albe" Barolo 2009 (Piedmont, Italy) is a remarkably delicious wine that is calling your name.  Not that I drink Barolo every night, far from- but for a special occasion, or if you are in the income bracket that makes a $ 35 dollar bottle of wine an everyday bottle- then this one is truly gorgeous. 

The Nebbiolo grape is a fickle beast.  It grows better as the soil becomes more rock-like and harsh.  Altitude is what Nebbiolo craves, steep slopes, fiercely pruned back and never, ever any irrigation.  This Nebbiolo aside from being hauntingly memorable, is a blend of grapes from each of Vajra’s vineyards.  The careful blending reveals the Terroir (or taste of the place) that is unique to this varietal. 

Nebbiolo is soft in the mouth with notes of citrus peel, crushed stones, trodden herbs, red fruits, a hint of liquorice and copious handfuls of rose petals perfume the palate.  This is wine for intellectuals as it forces you to drink carefully and boldly.  It’s not candy wine, nor is it too restrained- there is a happy medium at work in each sip.  You are forced by the very nature of the place to smile when you drink it.  This is happy wine indeed rolling in at about 14.5% alcohol, so make sure the food that you eat is robust and plentiful!

I love this wine for many reasons.  The first and foremost is the way it goes with food like wild boar, slow cooked with tomato, broth, sweet carrots, shallot and whole garlic cloves.  You need to cook a dish like this all day, preferably in an oven that goes low and slow for hours and hours without complaining.  In the villages of Italy, dinners were put into the oven the night prior in a local bakery.  As the ovens cooled overnight, the chemical reaction of slow heat to fatty, tough meat became magical.  When a cup or so of the Nebbiolo was introduced to carrots, celery, onion, shallot, rosemary and garlic with some bone broth and freshly ground salt/pepper- well, let’s just say it’s magical!

You should always cook with the wine you are drinking, lest the flavors be out of balance and I NEVER advocate cooking with wine that has gone sour- or turned, otherwise the dish will be ruined by the bad wine.  Think!  Bad wine in, bad sauce out.  Don’t do it!  I’ll come find you and it won’t be pretty…  Ok, so I won’t find you- but really, there is no such thing as cooking with sour wine- it’s just not done!

My pork dish for cooking all day is the normally tough cut from the Butt.  This is not the rear end, but the shoulder of the porcine delight.  This cut needs low and slow braising and patience to reveal itself.  I took a 5-pound pork butt into this recipe- I’d start with one that size for two people and go up from there- with certainly enough in leftovers!

Ingredients Nutrition
Servings – depends on how hungry you and your friend is…

1: (5 lb.) pork shoulder butt, roast
•    10 whole garlic cloves with one end cut off, but unpeeled
•    ½ cup Heinz Ketchup or 1 #10 can of crushed tomatoes
•    ¾ cup Demerara sugar or Moscovado sugar for a deeper flavor
•    1 teaspoon sea salt
•    1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
•    1 cup G.D. Vajra "Albe" Barolo 2009 (Piedmont, Italy)
1.    Make small slits all over the roast then insert a whole garlic clove into each slit
2.    Place the roast in a cast iron pan with a lid, Le Creuset works…
3.    Sprinkle the roast on all sides with the Heinz Ketchup
4.    Let sit at room temperature (lightly covered with foil) for at least 2 hours.
5.    After 1-1/2 hours spoon any Heinz Ketchup (if any) back on the roast that has accumulated on the bottom of the casserole.  Add the wine at this time…
6.    Using hands press raw sugar well into the meat on all sides making certain that the sugar sticks to the meat.
7.    Cover tightly.
8.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
9.    Place the roast in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200 degrees F.
10.  Roast for at least 5 hours or until the meat is just falling apart (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast).
11.    Stir the salt and black pepper into the juice (do not omit the salt.  This is essential!).
12.    Let rest for at least a ½ hour before slicing
13.    Slice meat as desired.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails- his most recent book.

He's also written about cocktails for Saveur and Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Total Food Service, Eater, Serious Eats, Foodista, Distiller and Beverage Media among other outlets.  He’s taught the fine art of social media and food writing at the New School in New York and at the Institute for Culinary Education. Warren has also taught at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine.

Bobrow was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and was the only American food journalist asked to participate in FĂȘte de la Gastronomie, a nationwide celebration of French cuisine in Burgundy. 

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