I’ve been living in Cincinnati for 8 years, I love everything about this city. There’s never a dull weekend – I could go to the same place, ie Fountain Square, and something is always happening.
As a Québécoise, I’ve noticed that poutine is creeping its way on menus all over the city. Although I make a very traditional poutine, which can be found in my cookbook, I thought it might be time to try my hand at making a version that’s an ode to my darling city.
Cincinnati was once known as Porkopolis because of its long history as a pork processing center, and the people in this city continue to embrace their love for all things pork – so I figure that’s my meat. I’m going to top it with a jus, grated sharp cheddar, creamy slaw, and pickled jalapenos.
The only special tool you’ll need is a spice mill or coffee grinder, I just bought one similar to the link, and have it designated for spice grinding. There are quite a few steps, but don’t worry, assembly for the dish is at the bottom of the page.
Suckling Pork Shoulder – 8-10 servings
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 5 1/2 to 6-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trim excess fat
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
In a small saute pan, stir fennel seeds over medium-high heat until slightly darker in color and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a spice mill and cool. Add kosher salt, peppercorns, and dried crushed red pepper. Grind to medium-fine consistency.
Place pork in large enough baking dish. Rub minced garlic all over pork, then coat with spice mixture. Cover the pork with foil. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush a very large saute pan with a little oil. Place the seasoned roast, fat side up in the center of pan. Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast pork 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Roast pork for about 3 hours longer, until very tender and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 190 degrees F. Transfer pork to cutting board let rest for 15 minutes. Reserve saute pan for sauce.
Meanwhile, pour all the pan juices into 2-cup measuring cup or fat separator. Remove the fat that rises to top. Place reserved saute pan on stove. Pour wine and chicken broth into pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until wine mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add degreased pan juices and whisk to blend, sauce will be thin.
You can serve this suckling pig in any matter of ways, just follow the recipe and serve for dinner with biscuits, creamed corn and salad – ENJOY!
Sweet Cincy Slaw – 8 servings
1 lb thinly sliced cabbage
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup mayonnaise, I recommend Duke’s
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
Combine everything except the cabbage and carrots, in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, add cabbage and carrots. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
French Fries/Pomme Frites – 8 servings
1 gallon peanut oil
8 large Russet potatoes
Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Heat the peanut oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 320 degrees.
Slice the potatoes with the skin on; cut each potato into sticks 1/4 inch thick and 4-1/2 inches long and place in the water. Discard any cuts that are irregular; they’ll cook unevenly. Place in a large bowl with cold water. hen all the potatoes have been cut, change the water several times until the starch has been rinsed from the potatoes and the water remains clear.
Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water by draining on paper towels. When oil reaches 320 degrees, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they are pale and floppy. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and cool to room temperature.
Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees. Re-immerse the cooked fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and quickly drain on paper towels. Season with kosher salt while hot and hold in the oven.
Finally…for the assembly:
Cincy Poutine – 8 Servings
1 Suckling Pork Shoulder Recipe – pull pork apart
1 Pan Sauce Recipe
2 cups shredded sharp orange cheddar
1 French Fry/Pomme Frites Recipe
1 Sweet Cincy Slaw Recipe
Pickled Jalepenos, optional, but highly recommended
Warm 8 dishes before serving.
To plate: divide french fries evenly among 8 plates, top each plate with 1/4 cup shredded cheese, pulled pork, spoon a bit of the pan juices on meat, divide slaw among plates and top the pork. Garnish with pickled jalapenos, if desired. Serve, and enjoy ‘Nati style.