Tuesday, August 09, 2011


serves six

30 x small pearl onions (approx 2 x 10 inch bags)
5 thick-cut slices of (apple-wood smoked) bacon cut crosswise in to ¼ inch thick strips
3½ pounds of cubed pork shoulder or country ribs with fat trimmed
Coarse Kosher Salt
4 large shallots, chopped (about a cup)
1 cup finely chopped parsnips
6 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
½ cup + 1 tablespoon apple brandy
2 cups low-salt organic chicken broth
12 oz's hard apple cider
1½ pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
2 large Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and cut in to 1inch cubes
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard

Cook onions in a large saucepan of boiling (salted) water for 2 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl of water to cool. Peel onions & set-aside. Cook bacon in a heavy large pot over medium-heat until lightly browned. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (a slotted spoon is helpful). Sprinkle cubed pork with coarse kosher salt and pepper, and add pork to same pot (retaining bacon fat) and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer browned pork to a large bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots & parsnips to pot (retaining residual pork and bacon juices & fat). Cover pot and cook, until beginning to soften. About 5 minutes. Stir in 3 teaspoons chopped sage. Stir for 1 minute. Add ½ cup apple brandy and cook until almost evaporated. Add chicken broth, hard cider, reserved bacon and pork with any accumulated juices. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until pork is tender - about 1 hour & 15 minutes. Add potatoes and pearl onions to the stew, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Add apples and cover and cook until potatoes are tender. 15 - 20 minutes. Stir butter and flour in a small bowl to form a paste. Add to pot and whisk to blend. Stir in mustard, 2 teaspoons sage and 1 tablespoon of apple brandy. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thickened, stirring often; 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Crispin Cider, 405 Central Ave SE, Suite 10, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414

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