Italian Shredded Beef or Pork

This is lazy Sunday afternoon cooking. Low and slow filling the house with inviting smells of dinner. You can make it with a piece of beef or pork or both! I have added typical Italian seasonings here but, you can easily change it to Mexican or Spanish by altering the spices and aromatics.

You will need:

  • 1 lb. beef shank
  • 1 lb. pork shoulder (or 2 pounds of either if you prefer only one variety)
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1-2 stalks of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 lemon
  • some smoked salt if you have it
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (peperoncino)
  • chicken broth – maybe a half a litre (enough to come halfway up the meat)
  • 1 tbsp cranberry sauce or jam
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil or parsley

Step 1: take a few pieces of beef and/or pork that are cuts that can handle a slow and low cooking until they are fall apart tender.  I always feel it is better to buy a smaller amount of the best quality meat you can find. Eat less meat but, make it a great quality.

Step 2; I drizzle with some great extra virgin olive oil and place in a very hot pan.

Step 3: Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I have used a smoked sea salt but, you can use your favourite. Be generous with the salt and pepper.

Step 4: once seared well on all sides add all remaining ingredients except the cranberry sauce/jam and save a half an onion for the finish.

Step 5: cook covered in the oven in a low oven 325 degrees F for 3- 3 1/2 hours until the meat starts to fall away from the bone and is tender enough to shred. Once it is cooked remove meat from the oven and once cool enough to handle remove all fat and bone until you just have the tender meat remaining with no gross bits. Strain all the vegetables until you have the liquid remaining. Set liquid aside.If you find there is a lot of fat you can skim off the fat which will rise to the top if you place it in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Step 6: in the same pan (never wash these crunchy bits away- this is flavour baby!) add a glug of olive oil and your 1/2 onion chopped and a bit of chili flake, if you like.Saute until the onion starts to brown. Add the strained cooking liquid you set aside and scrape all the fond from the pan.

Step 7: return the shredded meat to the pan and add a tbsp or two of the cranberry sauce or jam to balance out the rich meat.

Step 8: add a bit of freshly chopped basil or parsley to finish.

You can of course serve this as a main with roasted potatoes and your favourite vegetables or for a more casual option make a Italian Salsa and wrap in a flour tortilla.


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