Serves 12

  • 6-8 lbs (2.7-3.6 kg) boneless pork shoulder, skin removed
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (1 1/4 American tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 small head celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 onions
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) can of tomatoes, crushed
  • 4 large cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (1 1/4 American tablespoons) chopped marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 4 chopped anchovies
  • 1/2 bottle white wine (Soave, Pinot Grigio)
  • 30 – 35cm (12-14 inch) (width) x 4cm (4 inch) (depth) saucepan

This is real Italian comfort food. The saucepan you use for this dish is very important. If it is too big the dish dries out too much and if it is too small it tends to boil and will taste like an average stew.

The ingredients are very basic but there is a lot of skill required for this dish. The idea is to end up with a wonderful glossy concentrated sauce that coats the meat and keeps it moist. It is served in this photo with Swiss chard. Heat a heavy based saucepan until its almost smoking.

Season the meat well with Maldon sea salt and black pepper. Add olive oil. Place the meat in the saucepan fat side down and render down the fat. There should be a good 1 cm (½ inch) of fat covering the meat. Sear the meat on all sides. It is really important that all sides of the meat are a lovely golden brown colour, if the meat is getting too dark at any stage, turn the heat down. This is how to achieve a deep rich flavour.

Remove the meat along with any excess fat. Leave 1 tablespoon (1 1/4 American tablespoons) of fat in the pan to cook the vegetables. Peel the outer stalks of the celery to remove any stringy pieces. Chop the celery, carrots and onions into 5mm (1/4 inch) dice. Add to pan and sweat for 10 minutes. Season. Add the tomatoes, cook for a further 10 minutes until it resembles a thick sauce. Add the garlic, herbs and chopped anchovies.

Place the meat back into the saucepan along with any juices. Toss carefully in the sauce. Pour in the wine and bring back up to boiling point. Then cover with a cartouche and a lid slightly askew. Place in a preheated oven 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes then turn down to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3 for approximately 3 hours.

Keep an eye on the level of liquid. If it gets too dry add a little more stock. Before serving remove any fat from the sauce. Delicious served with freshly blanched Cavalo Nero or Chard and Gremolata or it can also be used as a pasta filling.

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