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A Bowl Of Hug - Genovese Pork Shoulder with Tomato Confit and Locatelli

Beijing-born Chef Shirley Chung once called one of her homey, soul-satisfying dishes a “bowl of hug.” And while this dish has absolutely nothing to do with Chinese cooking, the term stuck with me. This Italian pork dish is absolutely a “bowl of hug.”

Super simple, like some of the best Italian cooking, I suppose, this is too tasty and...shareable not to make. Besides, slow cooker recipes in winter are so comforting.

Serve this on rolls, over pasta or by itself. But serve it - it’s a great big hug.


1 3-4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast

1 teaspoon salt

black pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic minced

1 large onion diced

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved

2-3 stalks celery, sliced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 cup white wine - not too acidic**

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

extra salt and pepper to taste

*Typical Genovese pork has more onions and added carrots. I thought these ingredients were “sweet” enough, but you can always improvise. I do :)


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic and cook another minute.

In the slow cooker or another pan, sear all sides of the pork roast in a bit of olive oil.

Dilute the pesto in the wine.

Add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the pork to a cutting board and using two forks pull the pork apart.

Serve with a bit of the jus, and spoon some of the tomatoes and other veggies over the meat. Top with Locatelli or Parmesan Cheese.

** A fruity white Burgundy would be great for this dish, as would an oaky Chardonnay - both as an ingredient and an accompaniment.

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