This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal. (Joel Salatin, farmer and author of ‘Folks, This Ain’t Normal; You Can Farm‘)
My lovely friends at Linga Longa had some beautiful looking pork neck at the markets on Saturday. So I bought a little piece to slow cook for LM and myself. Alright. That was a white lie. I actually bought quite a lot. 2 kilos worth, in fact. That’s just under 4 1/2 pounds for those of you who don’t think ‘metric’.
The recipe we have on highest rotation here at Casa TSL is my Jamie Oliver Inspired Four Hour Lamb. Only now, instead of a leg, I usually pick up a couple of shoulders and slow cook them together, which gives us oodles of meat to play with for days…
But that’s another story for another time…
Today, I decided to play around with that 4-hour lamb number, only with my pork neck, instead. And, it ROCKED!
I’m a massive fan of slow cooking my animal protein. It’s easy. It’s a great way to batch cook. The flavour is incredible. And, did I mention it’s easy?
Easy-Peasy Lemon-Squeezey Slow Cooked Pork Neck
2 x kilos of happy, hormone free pork neck
6-8 x cloves of garlic, peeled (I used 8, but I love garlic!)
1 x bunch of fresh thyme, leaves stripped
1 x handful of bay leaves
1 x Tablespoon fat (I used lard)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (omit black pepper if on strict AIP)
1 x Tablespoon Tapioca starch/Arrowroot powder (If you’re not on AIP, use your preferred flour)
375 ml chicken bone broth (or stock)
1 x bunch herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley and a little sage)
2 x Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Heat your oven to 220°C/425°F.
2. Using a pestle and mortar, roughly crush the garlic cloves with the thyme, fat, salt and pepper. Place your piece of pork into an ovenproof roasting dish (I used my trusty Le Creuset), pierce all over with a sharp knife and rub all over with the garlic and herb mixture. Massage for a minute or two.
3. Place the bay leaves on top of the meat.
4. Cover your roasting dish – either with a lid or firmly with foil and pop it into the oven. As soon as you close the oven door, reduce the heat to 160°C/320°F.
5. Walk away for four hours and let the meat, garlic and herbs work their magic.
6. Remove the pork from the roasting dish and onto a carving board. Cover with foil and allow to rest.
7. Discard the bay leaves. Put the roasting dish on the stove over a medium heat.
8. Mix the starch with a little bone broth and add to your roasting pan. Allow to bubble for a minute.
9. Add the rest of the bone broth, making sure you scrape all the meaty bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
10. While the gravy is cooking, shred the pork with two forks.
11. Add the chopped herbs and red wine vinegar to your sauce. Taste for seasoning. Serve!
E N J O Y !