Feature

Recipe of the week: Pork stew from San Francisco’s new-wave butchers

The craft of butchering meat is making a comeback. Some butchers are also acting as cooking consultants, offering advice on how particular cuts of meat should be prepared.

Butchery is back, said Kristen Donnelly in Food & Wine. A new generation of meat lovers, tired of the homogenized tastes common in our “age of industrial meat production,” is getting back to basics. Leading the movement are butchers “reviving the traditional approach” to the craft, buying whole animals locally—and butchering them “humanely and eco-consciously.”

These butchers also act as cooking consultants, frequently offering courses on how to prepare particular cuts. Tia Harrison, Melanie Eisemann, and Angela Wilson are co-owners of Avedano’s restaurant in San Francisco, where head butcher Harrison breaks down a pig each week. Using a pork shoulder, she cooks a stew with pleasantly bitter ancho chilies.

Recipes of the week
Yucatán Pork Stew With Ancho Chilies and Lime Juice

¼ cup vegetable oil
4½ lbs trimmed boneless pork shoulder cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large white onions, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1 lb carrots, cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths
3 ancho chilies, seeded and cut into very thin strips with scissors
3 bay leaves
Pinch of ground cloves
¼ cup fresh lime juice
6 cups chicken stock
6 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Steamed white rice and sliced jalapeños, for serving

In very large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Season pork with salt and black pepper; add half to casserole. Cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to plate. Brown remaining pork. Return all of pork to casserole with accumulated juices. Stir in onions, garlic, carrots, chilies, bay leaves, cloves, lime juice, chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper; bring to boil. Add tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat until pork is very tender and carrots cooked through, about 3 hours. Discard bay leaves and stir in cilantro. Serve with rice and sliced jalapeños. Serves 8.

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