When I was in New York recently, I went to an Italian restaurant called Bocca. I had a really delicious octopus appetizer, but my meal was the best part. When I saw short rib risotto on the menu I knew I had to get it. This is probably Mandi's ultimate menu find and she would have gotten it had she been there. It was really tasty and as I was eating it I was also studying the flavors so I could bring it to her like a Pachuca Sunrise.
Now, I know I have been making a lot of slow cooked and braised meats in the past month or so, but like Jacques Pepin, I make no apologies for my food related activities. During this time of the year, I CRAVE this type of food. It is warm, comforting, and makes you forget about everything else. This meal was a real winner and was actually pretty easy! (I know I say this all the time and no one agrees with me.)
The dish from the restaurant was short rib, but I just made short ribs twice recently, and also there was some really fresh and delicious looking pork belly at the store so I made the swap. Another difference was that the star of the dish at Bocca was Barolo wine. At home we used Chianti and though we used a lot, we could have put it a little more to intensify the flavor and color. Even with these two subs, this dish was fantastic and I urge everyone to make it!
Give it a nice sear on all 4 sides
I know you guys really want these shirts. Be patient, they will be available VERY soon.
Onions celery and carrots(they only had shredded at the store) into the pot after the seared pork comes out.
And vegetable stock until the liquid almost covers the pork.
You can leave this on the stovetop if you don't have a really cool pot like this one. See isn't that easy? 10 minutes of prep, then you can walk away for 2 hours! Are you guys jealous of my sweet ove-glove?
After the braise, shred the meat and remove most of the fat.
Get all that braising liquid goodness into the blender and whirr it up.
Thin it out with a bit more veggie stock and wine.
Don't forget to rinse the rice!
Just some onions, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper sautéing in some olive oil.
The pork went in toward the end of cooking today. Don't worry, full recipe below.
This meal was really really great. The stringy pulled meat melded perfectly with the creamy risotto. The pork belly flavor held up against the Chianti wine. This is a very impressive and elegant restaurant meal that you can make at home easily!
2 lb Pork Belly
Cup and a half Arborio rice
4 celery ribs
Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pot. Salt and Sear pork belly on all 4 sides until crispy. About 2 - 4 minutes a side if your pan is hot enough. Do this in batches if needed. We had about 2 pounds of pork and needed 2 batches. Remove pork from heat and put on a plate. Dump in diced onions(2), carrots(3), and celery(4ribs) and salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 10 minutes stirring. The veggies should be audible the entire time. Add the pork on top of the veggies and pour in equal parts of veggie stock and red wine until the liquid ALMOST covers the pork but not quite. Cover this and simmer very lightly for 2 hours on the stovetop OR cook in the oven covered at 275 for 2 and a half to 3 hours. We did option B. When the pork is done, remove from pot, remove most of the fat and shred the meat. Pour the cooking liquid, chunks and all, into the blender with some more veg stock and wine. Blend and move to saucepan. Keep it simmering on the stove. Make sure it is more than 6 cups of liquid.
Sauté half an onion diced in olive oil with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes for 10 minutes. Add garlic, and then add a cup and a half of rinsed Arborio rice. Stir and coat rice, 4 minutes. Add a cup of wine and stir until wine is reduced by half. Slowly add the stock mixture to the rice one ladle at a time stirring unto the liquid is almost evaporated. This will use up almost all your stock, If you are about to run out, just add some water or more wine. The rice is done when it is tender and tastes good. Add the pork with the last ladle of stock. When the rice is done, shut off heat and stir in butter, parsley, and parmesan.