My favorite meat this summer is this simple slow cooked pork shoulder. Its perfect as there is almost no work to it. In the oven the meat takes care of itself while I work in the garden, draw or just enjoy the sunshine (in the shade).
Rub about 1 kilo (enough to feed 4-6 people) with caraway seeds, salt & pepper. Mix together prunes, dark sugar, a little water and chili in a food processor (I use dried chilies such as ancho or pasilla, pre-soak in hot water until soft). Spread the paste all over the meat. Bake the meat at 125°C (just above 250°F). After 1 hour you can place onion wedges and whole cloves of garlic to the side of the meat. Add some water to the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t get stuck. Baste the meat now and again. After about 5-6 hours the meat is probably ready, it should feel soft and almost fall apart if you poke a fork in it. The onions by this time are gorgeously caramelized.
Slice or just pull the meat apart with a fork. Serve together with the caramelized onions, a tomato sauce*, salad and bread (such as homemade tunnbröd, soft Swedish flatbread).
* I make a simple sauce by roasting fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion and chili. Mix in a blender together with herbs, such as oregano or sage. Season with salt & pepper and a little sugar. See also Kinna Jonsson’s article about tomato sauce (in Swedish).
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For this tomato sauce you can either use fresh or canned tomatoes. If you use canned tomatoes I recommend that you to buy a good quality brand. There are so many bad canned tomatoes out there, they should be banned. Here are some of my favorites: Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Mutti Cherry Tomatoes and the Swedish brand Willy’s Cherry Tomatoes or their organic whole tomatoes (only sold in Sweden).
This ancho rich tomato sauce is fantastic with pasta, especially with mozzarella and basil. Topped with cilantro it’s perfect for tacos and black beans. I often use either version instead of ketchup for sausages. Its definitely not the same thing but I kind of prefer it.
Also check out recipe for Fresh Tomato Pasta
As its impossible for me to write down a recipe on how I make a ragu sauce, I decided instead to make a flowchart with two feed options. For the minced meat I often use beef, lamb or wild boar. Sometimes I use a mix of minced beef and minced pork (common in Sweden). Lamb works especially well with the anchovy version and the beef with the ancho flavor. Sometimes I add one or two vegetables to the sauce, such as eggplant, carrot, parsnip, celery etc. For both options I add some stock, either my own or the vegetable base from “better than bouillon” (organic). If the sauce at the end needs a touch of ‘bite’ or sweetness, you can season with some paprika powder or/and brown sugar.
Serve with your favorite pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan.