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Salsa Genovese

4 ounces bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whole peeled garlic cloves
1 small carrot, peeled and finely shredded or chopped
1 stalk celery, finely shredded or chopped
5 to 7 pounds onions, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
5-to-7-pound pork shoulder (butt) roast, bone-in
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher crystal salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon peperoncino (hot red pepper flakes), or more to taste, or none
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups, or more or less, hot Turkey Broth , Simple Vegetable Broth , or water
A food processor
A heavy-bottomed braising or saucepan, or Dutch-oven casserole, 8-quart capacity or larger, 10-inch diameter or larger, with a good cover


Using the food processor with the metal blade, mince the bacon and garlic cloves together into a fine pestata (paste). Since you have the machine out, use it to chop the carrot, celery, and onions if you want (you dont need to wash the bowl). Process each vegetable separately. Cut the carrot and the celery stalk into chunks before chopping; pulse each to small bits. Chunk up the onions into 1-inch pieces, put them into the food-processor bowl in batches, and pulse them to 1/4-inch bits, not too fine. Put the onions in a big bowlyou will have 4 to 5 quarts of chopped onion when you are done. (Of course, you may shred and chop the vegetables by hand, or even mince the bacon-garlic paste with a heavy cleaver, as I did growing up. It takes longer but is quite satisfying.) Rinse and dry the pork, then sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt lightly on all surfaces, patting it on. Pour the oil into the braising pan, and set it over medium heat. Before it gets hot, lay the pork in and brown itlightlyturning it after a minute or so on each side. While the meat is browning, scrape the pestata into the pan bottom; spread it out and let the bacon begin to render. Drop in peperoncino now, if you want some heat in the salsa; toast it on the pan bottom. After 3 minutes or so of browning the pork, drop the tomato paste into the fat; stir and caramelize a minute. Dump the shredded carrot and celery into the pan bottom; stir for a minute, just to get them cooking. (Keep turning the meat so it browns evenly and slowly.) Now scrape the chopped onions into the pan, all around the meat. Sprinkle the remaining coarse salt over the onions; raise the heat a bit, stirring the onions up from the bottom and mixing them with the oil, pestata, and tomato paste. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the onions are all hot and starting to sweat. Cover, and turn the heat to medium-low. The pork is now going to cook for about 3 hours. Leave it alone for the first 45 minutes, then uncover, turn the meat, and stir the onions. They should be wilting and releasing liquid; if there is any sign of burning, lower the heat. Cover, and cook for another 45 minutes, turn the meat, and stir the onions. They should be quite reduced in volume, in a thick, simmering sauce. Stir in 2 cups of hot broth, bringing the liquid higher around the pork. Cook, covered, for another 45 minutes, then stir. If the sauce level has dropped a lot and is beginning to stick, stir in another cup or two of broth. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Cover, and cook another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Check the consistency of the onionsthey should be melting into the sauce, and the meat should be soft when pierced with a fork. If satisfactory, remove from the heat; otherwise, cook longer, adding more broth, or, if the sauce seems thin, uncover and cook to reduce it. As a primo, first course, for six: Remove 2 cups of the fresh onion sauce from the pot and put it in a large skillet. Cook 1 pound of rigatoni or other pasta, and toss it in the skillet with the simmering sauce. Finish with extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano. As a secondo, main meat course, for six or more: Remove the pork from the braising pot and cut out the blade bone (just lift the cooked meat off it and remove the bone). Slice the pork against the grain in 1/3-inch-thick slices, and moisten with hot sauce from the pot. As a meaty sauce for pasta: Traditionally, the leftover meat and sauce from Sunday dinner were combined and served another day as a dressing for pasta, but you can dedicate any amount of Salsa Genovese to this marvelous mixture. If you want to make this with freshly braised meat and sauce, let cool briefly, then pull the meat apart with forks (or fingers) into shreds, about 1/2 inch wide or more, and toss with the sauce. Refrigerate or freeze for another day. To dress 1 pound of pasta with meaty sauce: Heat 2 cups of sauce in a large skillet; refresh and extend it with a bit of extravirgin olive oil and broth, and bring to a simmer. I like to serve this with rigatoni or ziti. Fresh garganelli or cavatappi would also be a fine pasta choice. Finish with more oil and freshly grated cheese. Youll notice that I put coarse salt, rather than granular salt, on large meat cuts and whole birds that roast or braise for a long time. At home, I use either coarse sel de mersea salt with crystals formed naturally in coastal flatsor kosher salt, which crystallizes in the manufacturing process. The crystal structure adheres to the meat better than ordinary salt; real sea-salt crystals, my favorite, have more flavor too. I also prefer coarse salt for finishingthat is, for sprinkling on hot foods after they come out of the pot or pan. I recommend that you have at least one of these coarse crystal salts in the kitchen. If a recipe calls for coarse salt but you have none, use ordinary granular salt but reduce the amount by a third or a half: since granular salt is smaller and more dense, a spoonful of it (or any measured amount) adds more saltiness than an equal measure of bigger, airier salt crystals.

Source: www.epicurious.com