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Easter Ham Dinner

smoked pork shoulder with cherry-pineapple sauce & scalloped potatoes


Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking time)
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Serves: 8

Want ham this Easter? Try smoked shoulder! Traditional ham is from the hind leg, while pork shoulder or 'picnic ham' comes from the front legs. Shoulder is fattier, with more flavor and a buttery texture. We riff on a traditional ham garnish with cherry-pineapple sauce, and then offset the sweetness with a bitter braised mix of brussell sprouts and radicchio. And we couldn't resist adding creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes.

A challenge with ham is both the richness and saltiness. A lighter-bodied red with a bit of tart acidity will refresh the palate and stand up to salt. Pinot Noir is a classic choice, but Beaujolais or Chianti can also work well. For our 'Splurge' we feature a classic red Burgundy with cherry flavor that echoes our sauce, and for our 'Steal' we picked an Italian Sangiovese - the main grape used in Chianti.

Wine Pairing

2009 Pierre Andre Bourgogne, Reserve "Vielles Vignes"
Finely balanced with excellent fruit character. Light-weight with Pinot's delicacy, but satisfying. ($18)

2011 Trere Sangiovese di Romagna, "Vigna del Monte"
Slightly tart and light, like a Chianti. Bright acidity offsets the salt and sweet of the dish. ($10)

Easter Ham Dinner Ingredients:

1 4-5 pound smoked shoulder
2 lg yukon gold potatoes
1 head radicchio
2 cups brussell sprouts
6 cups apple juice
2 cups light cream
2 cups shredded gruyère
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 can minced pineapple
2 tbsp cherry preserves
1 yellow onion
1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg

Easter Ham Dinner Cooking Directions:

1.) Soak shoulder in apple juice and the juice from the lemon for 6-8 hours - you will probably need to start the night before.

2.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain liquid off shoulder and pat dry. Smother with 3 tbsp of honey, mustard, cinnamon and fresh ground pepper.

3.) Place ham onto the rack of a roasting pan, with a cup of water in the bottom. Cook for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let rest.

4.) To make scalloped potatoes, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Mince garlic. Peel potatoes and cut into rounds. Shred gruyère cheese.

5.) In a large ceramic baking dish place one even layer of potatoes into bottom of dish, then add a layer of gruyère. Continue layering until all is used.

6.) In a small bowl, mix cream, parmesan, and nutmeg with 1 tbsp kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Pour into the baking dish, and cook in oven for 45 minutes.

7.) To make braised greens, cut end off radicchio and slice into rings. Peel onion and cut in half, then into rings. Clean brussell sprouts and remove any browned leaves.

8.) Heat 1 tbsp butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and radicchio and cook for 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low and add brussell sprouts. Slowly cook the mixture for 30 minutes uncovered, stirring regularly.

9.) To make cherry-pineapple sauce, heat 1 tbsp butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add drained pineapple chunks and cherry preserve and cook for 3 minutes, stirring well.

10.) Add 1 tbsp honey and stir in well. Cook for 2 minutes, then lightly blend to a chunky texture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender. Reserve.

11.) To plate, slice shoulder meat into thick pieces and garnish with cherry-pineapple sauce. Serve with potatoes and a portion of braised greens and enjoy!

Next Recipe:  BBQ Pork Ribs with Jalapeno-Peanut Marinade


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