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Umami Roasted Pork Shoulder with Beans & Kale

Umami Roasted Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Kale and Zucchini

At first glance, this recipe might look like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t take much time to prepare—and the payoff is totally worth it! The flavors are so delicious and complex. I made the pork roast the other night for the first time and decided it would be the perfect “company dish.”

I will be writing more about the topic, but this dish has numerous ingredients that are “umami”. Umami is the fifth taste; the others are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami can be described as rich, meaty, and savory and gives dishes that extra layer that makes it memorable.

I’ve highlighted the umami ingredients in this dish and you can see that they are numerous. The vinegar, chicken stock and tomatoes all give depth and umami taste, as well as the pork and beans. Trust me, make this dish and it will become a favorite.

Roasted Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Kale and Zucchini

2 pounds boneless pork butt

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 springs thyme or ½ teaspoon dried

1 cup white beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained and rinsed

1 ½ cups chicken stock

2 zucchini or yellow squash, julienned into “pasta” with a Julianne peeler or spiralizer

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 cup chopped tomatoes

6 ounces fresh kale or collards, washed stemmed, and roughly chopped

Tie meat with string to prevent it from falling apart when cooking. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, ovenproof casserole over high heat and sear meat until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme and half the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the beans, stock, red vinegar, and 1 cup of water or more to cover ingredients. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until beans are tender.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and sauté remaining garlic for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes, add kale and cook about 5 minutes, or until kale is wilted.

When beans are cooked, remove thyme, carrots and celery and add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato and kale mixture. Place pork butt on top and cover. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until meat is very tender. Add more water if needed during cooking time.

Remove from oven and allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes. Untie roast and cut ¼ inch thick slices. Add zucchini to mixture and allow it to wilt.

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