Civet de Porcelet

Pork Stewed with Red Wine

A civet is a rich stew whose sauce is sometimes thickened with the blood of the animal, as in civet de lièvre (hare). And, strictly speaking, porcelet is sucking pig. Having said that, this is a fine pork stew made with shoulder or loin and cooked with red wine. A simple excellent dish from St Maximin.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg( lb) shoulder or loin of pork, boned
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • a few leaves of sage
  • a bay leaf
  • grated nutmeg
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 85 g(3 oz) petit salé or salted belly pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 275 ml(½ pt) red wine
  • beurre manié (1 teaspoon each of butter and flour blended together)
  • rabbit or pork blood (if available)

Method

Cut the meat into 2.5 cm(1 in) pieces. Place in a bowl with the garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaf. Add the nutmeg, juniper berries and olive oil and mix well. Cover the bowl tightly and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Next day sauté the petit salé or salt pork in a pan until the fat runs. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Transfer to a hot lidded casserole. Lightly brown the meat in the pan in batches if necessary and spoon into the casserole.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine and thicken with the beurre manié added in small pieces. Pour over the meat, season lightly and add the herbs from the marinade. Cover and cook in a moderate oven (Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F) for 1–1½ hours or until tender. Or simmer the dish very gently on the hob.

If you wish, the sauce can now be thickened with the blood, but do not let it boil; however, the dish is still good even without it.

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