Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Pork, Hungarian Style

The Charcuterie Fairmont on St. Laurent is my favourite butcher. I know it's not good to eat pork, but their pork is just so darn fresh and good! For whatever reason, I had a hankering for a rich pork stew. (It's probably the soups I've been getting over at Bulgogi House.) I went in, waited a bit while they helped another customer and then simply said that I wanted to make a pork stew, enough for 2 and leftovers. The friendly butcher, who has been there for 40 years, trimmed most of the fat ("you like a bit of fat, eh?") off of a piece of pork shoulder for me, chopping it into rough one-inch chunks, perfect for stew. I then subtly asked what was the right way to cook it. I got the recipe I was hoping for.

Heat up some butter or lard (I used olive oil) in a stew pot.

Sauté about a big fistful of chopped onion until it is starting to get transparent (maybe a little longer).

Throw in the pork cubes. Stir them around so they get good and covered by the oil and onion mixture. Grind some pepper over them. Stir and cook at medium heat (you want bubbling, no higher). When the outside of the pork is cooked on all sides, squeeze in a half a tube of Pörkölt and mix it in well.

I wasn't making those umlauts up!  You'll see this stuff and other variants for a buck or two on the shelf to the left or on the counterop. 

Let the whole thing cook, covered or semi-covered (keep enough sauce to keep it bubbling, covering most of the pork) for as long as it takes. Put some paprika in to add flavour or spice. It will be ready to eat in a half-hour at least, but the longer and slower you cook it, the tenderer it gets.

We quite enjoyed it, but next time I'd make it a day ahead of time or at least that morning, as it gets much more tender and flavourful with time. I also found it lacked a bit of bite and I'd either add a lot more paprika or perhaps some other straight hot spice, like stir in some jalapeno with the onions or just some red pepper flakes.

[Update: I went back to the butcher and he recommended the spicy version pictured below, a tablespoon of which I added to the leftovers when I reheated them.  It definitely gave me the kick I was looking for.]

Yes, now that has some kick!

Next time you want some pork chops, faux fillet, pork shoulder (I get half shoulders here for pulled pork) or any kind of meat, come check the Charcuterie Fairmount out. They also have nice dried sausage and fried chunks of fatty bacon in a tray on the counter that you can just snack on.


WeSailFurther said...

excellent! And I love the new format/design. I admit I haven't been here for a while, though I have read some of the movie reviews.

I love this post! I love stew! It's still damn hot down here for hot, heavy food. But soon, soon it will be blessed, crisp Autumn.

Ever re-find that recipe for African pork fire stew?

meezly said...

did you notice the other cool thing is the business card still calls it St-Lawrence Blvd!

now that's old skool!