Prep 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs
This recipe is based upon my recollection of Marlena De Blasi's Tuscan Wild Boar recipe in her book "A Thousand Days in Tuscany." (My copy of that book is currently packed up, so I couldn't consult it.) Also, I made modifications based upon what I had on hand. This is a great dish to serve to a hungry crowd of meat eaters! Please note that prep time does not include time to marinate meat which can vary according to your needs or preferences.
- 6 -7 lbs pork shoulder
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon clove
- 1⁄2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 1⁄4 cup gin
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- water, to cover
- Cut roast into 2" chunks, removing excess fat.
- Process juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, dried garlic and sea salt in spice grinder until coarse mixture results.
- Put meat into large plastic container and rub generously with several tablespoons of spice mixture. (Reserve remaining spices.) Add gin and olive oil and thoroughly mix together. Seal container and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. Turn container a few times during marination process. You can marinate for up to three days if you can wait that long!
- Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Brown meat pieces in batches on stove top over medium high heat in a large oven safe covered pot or dutch oven. Place browned meat back into pot and add chicken broth, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar and enough water to cover meat.
- Cover and transfer pot to oven. Braise meat for 3-4 hours or until meat is very tender. Taste sauce and season with reserved spices if desired. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
The flavor combo of the juniper and clove are outstanding. It makes this dish tasty and unique. What ever you do, do not skip the juniper. Very tender and it was well received by the whole family.
I modified this recipe a bit. I used front and hind leg meat from a Javelina (a wild pig in Arizona) that my roommate shot earlier this year. I omitted the juniper berries since I didn't have any, rosemary because I am allergic, gin because my roommate is a recovering alcoholic, and tomato sauce because I wanted a more robust flavor. I used apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar. I added thyme and a bit of marjoram. I baked it in my dutch oven at 190 F for 8 hours.
This recipe does a great job of making the meat tender - at the end you could cut the meat with a plastic disposable spoon! The flavors infused the meat very well too, and there was no gamey flavor.
I imagine that this recipe would adapt well to a slow cooker as long as you can set it low enough where it won't boil.