Hunter’s Hotpot (with Pork Shoulder)
The rather grand-name for this little dish I put together obviously doesn’t signify a composition using the yield of the hunt, rather it just means that I took the Italian Cacciatora style preparation as my inspiration. Still, when you cook pork with red wine the effect can be rather like the taste of wild boar so perhaps the name isn’t too outlandish after all…
- 1 1/2 lbs. Pork Shoulder, cut into bite sized cubes;
- 1 1/2 lbs. Baby Potatoes;
- 12 small dried Chinese Black Mushrooms;
- 1 small Onion, chopped;
- 1 small Carrot, chopped;
- 1 stick of Celery, chopped;
- 1 – 2 tbsp. minced Garlic;
- 1 tsp. each dried Sage and Thyme;
- ½ tsp. each Celery Seed and Black Pepper;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- 2 ½ cups plain Tomato Sauce;
- 1 cup Red Wine;
Reconstitute the mushrooms in warm water for an hour so and then drain them, reserving the soaking liquid. Trim the stems and then cut the caps into halves, for the smaller ones, and quarters for the larger. If you like, you can slice them into strips instead.
Brown the meat over moderate heat in a little oil and then set aside.
Saute the carrot, onion and celery in a little oil or butter until the onion is translucent.
Now add the meat, garlic, and other seasonings and saute a few minutes further until the herbal aroma rises.
Lastly, add the potatoes, tomato sauce, red wine and one cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. All the solids in the pot should be covered but, if not, top up with a little more of the soaking liquid or plain water. Put thy pot on a moderately low flame and let it simmer gently for about an hour and a half. At this point, the potatoes should be tender and the liquid reduced and thickened somewhat.
You can serve now, but the dish will be much better if you allow it to cool and then chill in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, heat gently in a suitable serving dish in the oven until it is just piping hot. Enjoy….