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RECIPE Pork Shoulder Ragu al Maialino Adapted from Nick Anderer at Maialino in New York

Serves 4

A CookTale

This recipe appeared in the New York Times on September 29, 2010. It is one of their main courses on the menu at the popular Maialino restaurant in New York City.
It might look complicated but once you get into it, it moves right along.
What I did was completely cook the Pork Shoulder the day before. This allows it to settle overnight in the refriderator. The next day it was only a matter of assemblying it. . A much more efficient method when working solo in the kitchen.
The result was worth the extra effort.

INGREDIENTS

1 Pork Shoulder, bone in, roughly 4 pounds
Kosher Salt
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium White Onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 rib Celery, cut into large pieces
1 small Fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large pieces
1 quart Chicken stock (or enough to almost cover the pork)
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
Freshly ground black Pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
2 9-ounce boxes dry Lasagna, cut into 3-1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Grana Padano cheese
1 Large handful of Arugala
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley

METHOD

1. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick skin from the pork, leaving a sheen of fat on top of the meat. Season aggressively with salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use, as long as overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it shimmers, gently cook the onion, celery and fennel until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Rinse pork to remove excess salt, dry with a paper towel and add to seasoned broth. Cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or more, until the meat just begins to pull away from the bone.
3. Allow both meat and broth to cool on the stove top for 30 minutes, or until you can touch the meat with your hands. Remove the pork and gently pull the meat from the bone, then tear the chunks into bite-size shreds. Place these in a large bowl.
4. Strain the liquid into a separate bowl and then pour enough of it over the meat to barely cover. (Use the rest for soup.) Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
5. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.
6. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the pork and braising liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter and stir to emulsify.
7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package, 10 to 12 minutes. When it is finished, drain and add to the sauce along with a splash of pasta water. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the lemon juice, half of the cheese, a tablespoon of olive oil, the Arugala & the parsley. Stir to incorporate.
8. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining cheese.

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