As expected, the hectic pace I’ve been keeping over the last few weeks at the office in in preparation for our party last weekend caught up with me. Wednesday night I got home from work and was too exhausted to do much of anything; dinner that night was a platter of cured meats and cheeses left over from the party, along with cherry tomatoes, crackers, and a very quaffable red Mike brought home. I was still very stiff and achy when I woke yesterday morning, so I stayed home and spent most of the day in bed with the cats watching a fine selection of food shows on the DVR.
I often worry about dinner on sick days, but yesterday, I didn’t have to – I could smell it cooking all day long. Before he left for work in the morning, Mike seasoned a bone-in pork shoulder and put it in the crock pot, bathing it in a mixture of water, applejack, cider vinegar, chopped fresh figs (left over from the party) and chipotles in adobo. The aroma was heavenly.
By the time we were ready to eat, I was feeling well enough to put together a couple of sides – cannellini beans cooked with tomato and fresh sage, and Tuscan kale sauteed with a bit of garlic, chile flakes and lemon zest. The pork was so tender it was falling apart, so I carefully transferred it to a baking sheet and kept it warm in a 200 degree oven while I reduced the strained cooking liquid. I let it bubble away until it was reduced down to about 1/2 cup, whisked in some cold butter and plated everything up. We opened a lovely Sangiovese which highlighted the flavors of both the pork and the figgy pan sauce, and toasted to a great team effort.