Top Chef, Season 3, Episode 5
BRAISED PORK SHOULDER:
Pat the pork dry with paper towels and generously season with salt and pepper on all sides. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear until browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and remove all but 1/2 cup fat from the pot. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to a boil, then add the pork and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, turning the pork every 30 minutes, until very tender, 1 1/4 to 2 hours. Remove the pork from the liquid and set aside on a plate. Tent with aluminum foil. Cut into 1/2-inchthick slices just before serving.
Bring the liquid in the pot back to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about half, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the flavors, adding more lime juice, soy sauce, or sugar if necessary.
Peel the yucca, rinse, and slice each piece in half lengthwise. Remove the stringy core in the center. Cut each half crosswise into 2-inch lengths.
In a large pot, combine the yucca with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more stock or water to cover as needed. Drain.
While you’re cooking the pork and yucca, in a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to dissolve the sugar, then whisk in the oil. Add the onions and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Divide the yucca among the serving plates. Place pork slices on top and drizzle with mojo sauce. Top with pickled onions and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.