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Pork Shoulder with Dried plums, orange & shiitake mushrooms

This sweet and savory dish wouldn’t be the same without the dried plums helping to retain juiciness and add moisture to meats.

 Recipe courtesy of Chef Mark Liberman and the California Dried Plum Board.

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Prep Time   30 min Cook Time   2 hours Serves  6

Ingredients

4 lbs. pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups prune juice

1 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon whole cloves

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 orange, peeled and juiced

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup minced onion

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved

1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth

1 cup California dried plums, halved

1 cup port

1/4 cup each: rough chopped fresh parsley and chervil


Directions

1.    Season pork with salt and plenty of pepper. Place pork in a glass or plastic container that has a lid.

2.    Combine prune juice, sherry, dried mushrooms, fish sauce, cloves, garlic, orange peel and juice and rosemary in a large pot. Bring to a boil;  reduce heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and chill immediately.

3.    Pour cool prune juice mixture over pork and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours or up till overnight.

4.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove pork from marinade; strain marinade reserving later for the sauce. Pat pork dry.

5.    Heat half the oil and the butter in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pork in batches (do not crowd) and cook until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Remove to a large plate.

6.    Add remaining oil to pot. Add onions and ginger and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Deglaze with reserved prune marinade and immediately add broth. Return pork to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

7.    Transfer to the oven and bake until pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover and let stand for about 15 minutes.

8.    Meanwhile, combine prunes and port in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the stew. Stir in the dried plums and port. Return the pot to the stove and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

9.    Combine the pork and prunes, stirring to combine. Adjust seasoning and finish with chopped herbs. Best served with soft polenta or boiled new potatoes.