- Yield:8 generously
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, minced
- 1 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 pounds pork butt (also called pork shoulder), cut into 1-inch cubes
- Liberal dusting of kosher salt
- Liberal dusting of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Ume-Pickled Fennel Juice (recipe follows) or umeshu (plum wine)
- 10 dried figs (such as Mission figs), roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot juice
- Several tablespoons Ume-Pickled Fennel (recipe follows), for garnish
- 1 cup umeshu (plum wine)
- 5 meaty umeboshi, pitted and roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange blossom or other honey
- 1 large fennel bulb, stalks removed, sliced as thinly as possible (about 3 cups)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large clay pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger; cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the pork, salt, and pepper; stir, and cook for 10 minutes more.
Add the plum wine and figs, bring to a boil, mix thoroughly, cover, and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and, using a wooden spoon or a spatula, break apart the pork chunks a bit. Add the carrot juice; return to oven for 30 minutes more. Taste and adjust the salt. Serve from the clay pot or transfer to warm individual plates; garnish with a mound of pickled fennel.
- makes 3 cups fennel and 2 cups pickling liquid -
Combine the wine, pickled plums, vinegar, and honey in a blender; purée. Place the fennel slices in a large bowl, pour in the liquid, and cover tightly. You can eat it right away, but the flavors only get better after a few days in the fridge. Keeps for several months.