Today's recipe is Stewed Pork with Porcinin Mushrooms and Juniper. I was really looking forward to making this recipe. I've had a jar of juniper berries in my spice cabinet that have only been used once, when making a rabbit dish. Time to make another recipe calling for them.
Marcella says that the fragrances from this dish - porcinin mushrooms, juniper berries, marjoram, and bay, are usually associated with furred game. She also recommends serving this with soft polenta.
To begin the recipe, you lightly crush the juniper berries to release their flavors. In a saute pan, the pork shoulder, which has been cut into cubes, is browned in hot olive oil. When all is browned, the meat is removed from the pan, and chopped onion is added and cooked until it turns golden brown. White wine and red wine vinegar are added, along with the juniper berries, chopped anchovies, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid, marjoram, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. The heat is turned down, and the stew simmers for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
I made this dish a couple of days in advance of serving it, so you see the photo of the meat by itself and not with the polenta. This meat was delicious. So tender. Make sure you have enough juice in the pan, because you want plenty of pan sauce. I kept tasting this, and it just doesn't taste like pork. But I never could figure out what I thought it tasted like, or what spices I was tasting. I think my juniper berries might be past their prime, as there wasn't much of that flavor I could distinguish. I will be making this recipe again, as I really liked the flavors. And it's easy to make, and it's nice to have a recipe you can make 2 or 3 days in advance.