The cold months are here, at least here in Canada and the light, summer time dishes and salads have given way to soups and stews. Today’s dish is a classic, using pork shoulder, leeks and celery. Pigs in many villages in Greece are fattened up all year then slaughtered in December and broken down and used from sausages to cured meat so as to endure the cold winter months.
In Greece, they have selino…a European celery with long thin stalks and the large leaves at the top are in tact. It’s stronger than celery and you can use either in this dish. I’ve found selino at Asian markets it you want to try it out.
Leeks, abundant in autumn/winter and frankly, I wish they were available all year ’round. They are great for soups, phyllo pies and braised/stewed dishes like this one. Resist the temptation to add any herbs to this dish. The aroma and taste are the flavouring here and it’s a natural with Avgolemono sauce…classically Greek.
approx. 3 lbs. of pork shoulder (leave a little fat on)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 large, long leeks, ends trimmed, washed well from grit/sand, thinly sliced
7-8 stalks of celery, stalks halved lengthwise then chopped
2 large eggs
juice of 1 lemon
- Cut the pork into 2-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear on all sides then add the leeks and celery and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and sweat for another 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining olive oil, enough stock to just cover the meat and bring up to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Check to see if pork is tender (with a fork), cover and cook longer if needed.
- Crack your eggs in a large bowl and add the lemon juice and whisk until frothy. Carefully remove the liquid from the pot and into another bowl.
- While whisking the lemon/egg mixture, slowly add the hot stock to temper the temperatures of the two liquids.
- Pour the tempered Avgolemono and pour back into the pot with the pork. Off the heat, shake the pot back and forth to help incorporate the Avgolemono with the pork and vegetables and allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve. Pair with a Gerovassilou Malagouzia.
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