Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Tuscan Salmoriglio Sauce

My wonderful husband Paul is now 29. That number makes him cringe, but I think he is as cute as ever.

For his birthday, we started the day off with Mass. The kids gave him perhaps the greatest gift they could have by being perfect angels throughout the entire hour we were at church. Paul and I were amazed that we were actually able to hear, listen, and reflect on the readings and homily. It hasn't happened for about 2 years now!

After Mass, we came back home and feasted on a delicious breakfast of coffee and German Apple Pancakes. So delicious - like having apple pie for breakfast.

Then, I worked on a coupe of preparations for Paul's birthday dinner and dessert while the kids played and Paul talked to his twin and a few other family members on the phone. He was bombarded with phone calls - it made him feel so loved!

After we slid the pork roast in the oven, Paul and I dropped the kids off at a friends house and headed to the movies. This was the first movie we had seen in the theaters since Frozen and we were excited to be viewing a grown-up film this time! We chowed down on a humongous bowl of popcorn (with extra butter - Paul loves movie theater butter popcorn!) while watching the movie Birdman. Weird movie. However, we enjoyed ourselves.

After picking up the children, we headed home for dinner! Paul's dinner request this year was Roasted Pork Shoulder with Tuscan Salmoriglio Sauce from one of my new cookbooks. He usually requests new recipes because he can never seem to remember what his favorite dishes are and likes trying new things. He liked the looks of this dish from the picture in my cookbook - a truly scientific selection process but it paid off because we loved it. We served it alongside roasted baby red potatoes and a Strawberry Spinach Salad. The meal was absolutely fantastic - I could eat that sauce with a spoon. I am posting the recipe below and highly recommend it. We've been enjoying the leftovers all this week and have yet to tire of it. The kids loved it too!

After dinner, Paul opened his gifts. I picked out a new monitor for him to use in his home work space and I think he liked it. I couldn't get him to stop fiddling around with it the rest of the evening. He also received some nice gifts from his parents in Montana - including an authentic Davy Crockett style hat.
Emma made a mess of her dinner and thus had to be stripped down to her
diaper for a cleansing. We decided to keep her that way until after ice cream
 and dessert, just in case. It was a good decision. 

I had to capture a picture "Davy Crockett" conducting research in his office.

We then gathered for the birthday dessert. Paul once again chose Whiskey Pear Tart as his dessert of choice. I was kind to him and stuck only five candles in the tart. He has difficulty blowing out more than seven and I wanted his wish to come true this year. The kids loved singing "Happy Birthday" to their Daddy almost as much as their Daddy enjoyed singing it to himself (in an obnoxious baritone voice).

We love you, Paul. You mean more to us than words can express! Here's to a great year! 

And now onto that recipe...

Seriously, this is fantastic stuff. The sauce would be great on a variety of proteins - including chicken and fish. I actually stirred some into my egg salad sandwich for lunch one of the days this week and it was a delicious complement. Don't be afraid of the anchovies in the rub. They add a wonderful and unique saltiness that complements the fresh herbs!

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Tuscan Salmoriglio Sauce
from Fabio's American Home Kitchen

For the Pork:
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup kosher slat
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
10 anchovy fillets, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup beef stock

For the Salmoriglio Sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 shallots, minced
10 fresh mint leaves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Juice from 2 lemons
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tablespoon onion powder

The day before you intend to serve the pork, rub it all over with the kosher salt and sugar. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a large bowl and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

With a wet cloth, wipe the remaining sugar and salt from the surface of the pork. This does not have to be perfect! In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oregano, thyme, anchovies, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth paste. Rub the paste all over the meat.

In a large dutch oven or other oven-safe casserole dish, pour the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add the meat and brown on all sides. Add the beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven. Roast the pork until for tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

When the pork is done, combine all the ingredients for the Salmoriglio Sauce in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve the meat in thick pieces with the sauce drizzled over the top. Enjoy!


  1. Happy birthday to Paul! I thought turning 29 was scarier than turning 30 so maybe the worst is past now?? Have you ever heard the Delaney version of Happy Birthday at brunch? I'm not sure it can get more obnoxious than that (the kids take great pride in making it as horrible as possible, they succeed quite well).

    1. Diana, please share the Delaney "Happy Birthday" song! I know I was there for Carter's birthday a long, long time ago but I do not remember the song!

    2. Oh it's just normal happy birthday but sung as absolutely as horrible as possible. Like beyond horrible. And I think it gets worse every week.

  2. Happy Birthday, Paul!!! And wow--that bear!!! I imagine there is an interesting story behind that!