This week's recipe is from Berkshire-based duo The Butcher & The Baker. The Butcher is Jake, a nose-to-tail butcher/artist, who loves to cook and grew up in the woody hills of Western Massachusetts where his passion for local, fresh food was first instilled in him. The Baker is Silka, a designer/crafter who loves to bake and grew up in rural Western New York where her parents are candlestick makers. Together they spend most of their time talking about, shopping for, making, and eating food. By sourcing locally and sustainably, and spending time with the producers of their food, they’ve learned that every meal tells a story.
We've probably already mentioned that we're on a tasty journey through the varied flavors of the Asian continent – because, well, it's all we can talk about! And in the last couple weeks, we've really dug into Thai cuisine. There's just something about the combination of spicy Thai peppers and cooling herbs that tastes so perfect on the almost tropical evenings we've been enduring this summer.
Our recent efforts have been ever-more rewarding, as we now have a Thai expert at our disposal — our brother, Will. Will is a natural builder and spent six months living in Thailand... but this summer he's become our official taste-tester. When he says our kitchen smells like a Thai food market, we know we've hit a recipe on its head.
This month we wanted to tackle a dish that we tasted at Andy Ricker's famous Pok Pok Thai restaurant in NYC. It's a simple but authentic dish of thinly-sliced grilled pork shoulder, marinated in a paste of cilantro roots, garlic and soy sauce, served with greens and rice. It is a perfect summer dish, and except for some fish sauce, it calls for no unusual ingredients.
Northern Thai-style Pork Shoulder
For the pork:
1 lb. pork shoulder
4 cloves garlic
Roots from 1 bunch cilantro (if you can't get some with the roots, use the greens instead)
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Shoyu soy sauce (or another light soy sauce)
Pound garlic, cilantro roots and peppercorns together in a mortar and pestle or mix ingredients in a food processor. Either way, you're going for a paste.
Cut shoulder meat into 1/2-inch thick slices. Rub paste onto the meat and marinate for an hour.
Grill the meat over a medium heat for 4 minutes on each side.
For the dipping sauce:
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp red chili pepper flakes
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar
4 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
Mix all together in bowl and serve along side grilled meat. Serve meat and sauce with bibb lettuce leaves or bok choy leaves and rice.