WESTVILLE — These recipes were provided by Susan Biggs-Warner, historic interpreter with the Vermilion County Conservation District.
Biggs-Warner will demonstrate how early settlers cooked from 1-4 p.m. today at the Pioneer Homestead at Forest Glen Preserve east of Westville.
Cream and Lemon Braised Pork Shoulder
(makes 8 servings)
One 7-pound bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 sprigs of sage
2 cups heavy cream
5 cups water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, add the pork, garlic, sage, cream and water. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon in strips. Add the zest to the casserole. Halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and braise the pork in the oven for three hours, until the meat is very tender.
Transfer the pork to a plate and pat dry. Strain the liquid into a heatproof bowl and skim off the fat. Return the liquid to the casserole and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, if using the more fatty pork shoulder, heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Carefully add the pork, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat, turning until the skin is crisp, about 15 minutes; use two pairs of tongs to steady the pork. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, skin side up, and slice it ¼-inch thick. Serve with the gravy.
If using the pork butt, there is no need to sear the fat — just serve with the cream reduction.
(Recipe adapted from “Food and Wine”)
Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Fennel and Thyme
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ pounds of fingerling potatoes (7 or 8 medium), cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices