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Palette de Porc à la Diable à l'Alsacienne

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 December 2017 at 11:57
Palette de Porc à la Diable à l'Alsacienne
Alsatian Pork Shoulder Roast with Mustard

I first came across this concept by way of a fleeting comment somewhere on social media made by a French or Alsatian chef. The name of the dish intrigued me, and I looked it up. Literally translated, it means "the paddle to the devil;" however, I knew from previous reading that the reference to the devil implied that the dish had a bit of spice to it. I set out to learn what I could about this interesting dish; however, there wasn't too much.

"Palette: translates literally as "paddle," but refers to the shoulder blade roast of the pig; this is commonly referred to as the "Boston Butt" in the USA.

In general, it looks like the pork is slathered with good, hearty mustard and then braised in a beer that is on the lighter side of the spectrum, although white Alsatian wine is sometimes used or added. The dish is generally seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme and a bay leaf or two. Some versions have aromatics added, such as onion and carrot. It appears that creamy mashed potatoes, with fried onions added, are a traditional side to this meal.

This recipe looks to be a fairly typical and traditional platform for the dish, and I intend to try it, along with some of the additions mentioned above. I am posting this recipe in its original French as well as the translation via Google, which may or may not be very good.

NOTE - the photo below appears to be of a pork loin, rather than a shoulder roast; however, I have been assured by several sources that the "palette" does indeed refer to a shoulder roast. This makes sense, as the shoulder bone rather looks like a "paddle."

In any case, I am pretty sure that the roast I have in the freezer - from a locally grown and processed pig - is actually the picnic roast, which is the lower portion of the shoulder; consequently, that is probably what I will end up using.

Quote Palette à la diable à l'alsacienne



Préparation - 10 min
Cuisson - 1 h 30 min

Ingrédients pour 6 personnes

1 palette de porc ficelée
4 cuil. à soupe de moutarde forte
1 cuil. à soupe de graines de moutarde
30 cl de bière blonde
1 feuille de laurier

Etapes de préparation

Préchauffez le four th. 6 (180 °C).

Posez la palette dans un plat à four et badigeonnez-la généreusement de moutarde. Parsemez de graines de moutarde. Versez la bière dans le plat. Ajoutez la feuille de laurier.

Enfournez 1 heure 30 en arrosant régulièrement la viande de son jus de cuisson.

Une fois la viande bien colorée, si le temps de cuisson n’est pas à son terme, couvrez-la d’une feuille de papier d’aluminium.

Sortez la palette du four et servez chaud ou froid, avec une purée de pommes de terre.


[Google Says:]

Preparation - 10 min
Cooking - 1 h 30 min

Ingredients for 6 people

1 pallet pig tied
About 4 tablespoons mustard
About 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
30 cl of lager (about 1 bottle)
1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

Place the roast in a baking dish and brush generously with mustard. Sprinkle the mustard seeds on the roast. Pour the beer into the dish. Add the bay leaf.

Bake 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting the meat regularly with its cooking juices.

If the cooking time is not an end when the meat obtains a good colour, cover it with aluminum foil.

Remove the roast from the oven and serve hot or cold, with mashed potatoes.

http://www.cuisineactuelle.fr/recettes/palette-a-la-diable-a-l-alsacienne-210788
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2017 at 17:22
Is there anything special that makes it "Strong mustard?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2017 at 10:18
Hi Melissa -

I think that any mustard you prefer would work very well.

In my mind, I see a robust, stone-ground, Dijon-type mustard; however, that is just an impression I have, and I am sure that if you would rather have something on the lighter side, that would be just fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2017 at 14:44
My research turned up another recipe from a French blog, with very slight variation. I am posting it here for comparison in both French and English.

Quote Palette à la diable

Un bon plat roboratif généralement associé à l'Alsace, qui s'accompagne traditionnellement de pommes de terre sautées.



"à la diable" évoque une sauce relevée, qui brûle... ce qui n'est pas vraiment le cas de la palette à la diable, puisque la moutarde perd de son piquant à la cuisson.

Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes):

Palette de porc à la diable:

800 g de palette de porc demi-sel
150 à 200 g de moutarde forte (pas besoin de prendre une moutarde de luxe ou à l'ancienne)
1 crépine
1 bouquet de persil
10 cl de vin blanc
10 cl de bière

Pommes de terre sautées:

800 g de pommes de terre
100 g de lard fumé
poivre

Etalez la crépine sur le plan de travail. (J'ai commandé la mienne chez mon charcutier).

Lavez et ciselez le persil.

Tartinez une face de la palette avec de la moutarde, à l'aide d'une cuillère à soupe. Parsemez de persil. Retournez cette face contre la crépine, et achevez de tartinez toute la surface de la palette avec la moutarde. Parsemez de persil.

Refermez la crépine sur la palette. Coupez l'excédent de crépine.



Enfournez dans un grand plat avec couvercle, dans un four préchauffé à 220°C.

Au bout de 10 min, arrosez de vin blanc et baissez la température à 200°C. Laissez cuire 50 min.

Retirez le couvercle du plat, arrosez la palette de bière et laissez cuire à découvert à 180°C pendant 15 min.



Pendant ce temps (environ 30 min avant la fin de la cuisson de la palette), préparez les pommes de terre. Lavez-les, épluchez-les et coupez-les en lamelles épaisses.

Dans une poêle, faîtes revenir les lardons jusqu'à ce qu'ils aient rendu leur graisse. Réservez-les et remplacez-les par les pommes de terre. Laissez cuire à couvert jusqu'à ce que les pommes de terre soient tendres. Remettez alors les lardons.

Servez chaud, en découpant pour chacun une ou deux tranches de palette, avec une cuillerée de la sauce moutarde qui s'est formée, et des pommes de terre sautées.



http://cc-cuisine.blogspot.be/2013/02/palette-la-diable.html


Here it is, with English translation provided by Google:

Quote Palette to the devil

A good and invigorating dish generally associated with Alsace, which is traditionally accompanied by fried potatoes.



"à la devil" evokes a raised sauce, which burns ... which is not really the case with the devil's palette, since mustard loses its zest to cooking.

Ingredients (for 6 people):

Palette of pork with devil:

800 g half-salt pork palette
150 to 200 g of strong mustard (no need to take a luxury mustard or old-fashioned)
1 strainer (Ron's note: this should read as "caul fat."
1 bunch of parsley
10 cl of white wine
10 cl of beer

Fried potatoes :

800 g potatoes
100 g smoked bacon
pepper

Spread the strainer on the worktop. (I ordered mine at my butcher's shop).

Wash and chop the parsley.

Spread one side of the palette with mustard, using a tablespoon. Sprinkle with parsley. Turn this side against the strainer, and finish spreading the entire surface of the palette with mustard. Sprinkle with parsley.

Close the strainer on the pallet. Cut off the excess strainer.



Bake in a large, covered dish in an oven preheated to 220 ° C.

After 10 minutes, sprinkle with white wine and lower the temperature to 200 ° C. Cook for 50 minutes.

Remove the dish lid, sprinkle the beer pallet and cook uncovered at 180 ° C for 15 min.



During this time (about 30 minutes before the end of cooking the pallet), prepare the potatoes. Wash them, peel them and cut them into thick strips.

In a frying pan, sauté bacon until they have browned. Reserve them and replace them with potatoes. Cook covered until the potatoes are tender. Then put back the bacon.

Serve hot, cutting each one or two slices of palette, with a spoonful of the mustard sauce that has formed, and fried potatoes.



http://cc-cuisine.blogspot.be/2013/02/palette-la-diable.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2017 at 16:41

Definitely looks wonderful ..   


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 11:14
This dish is on deck for the coming weekend.

It should be noted that I have discovered an important, fundamental thing about the pork that is used for this; a factor that makes it slightly more difficult to prepare in the United States, at least in my area. I'll have more on this when I post about it next week, and will discuss an alternative or two. For now, I'll simply use a "regular," widely available pork shoulder roast for my first preparation.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 17:36
Hmmmmmmm? Half-salt pork. Caul fat. All things found in my local grocery store. Not!
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 20:18
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

Half-salt pork. Caul fat. All things found in my local grocery store. Not!

Hi, Brook - you touched on the main issue that i alluded to in my post immediately above:

"Half-salt pork?" What in the world is that?

I was going to tackle the challenge over the weekend, but found myself with some extra time this evening and - spurred on by your post - decided to delve into it immediately. I'm glad that I did, because I probably saved my chance to prepare a "plausible" or "credible" version of this dish. If I would have waited until Sunday, as I intended to, it would have been too late, I think.

I only have a couple of solid references dealing with this, but I think I have it pretty-well figured out. The first inkling I got of this issue was a couple of months go from a friend in Europe who noticed (as you did) something that I had missed in the recipe: the reference to porc demi-sel, or "half-salt pork." My friend described it as "salt-cured pork in which a salt solution is used, called saumure in French." I quickly learned that saumure is the French term for a salt brine. I mentally filed that information away in the back of my mind for future consideration, and then promptly forgot about it until today. Shocked

When I tried to see what I could learn this this evening, many sources mentioned petit salé which is described by Wikipedia as "salted pork, usually produced according to a French method of immersing cuts of pork for up to two days in brine." Further research brought up this page, which appears to go into deeper detail:

https://gretagarbure.com/le-porc-demi-sel/

here is the (clunky) English translation:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://gretagarbure.com/tag/porc-demi-sel/&prev=search

This page describes a process where pork is brined in a salt solution, sometimes with spices, in order to achieve an attractive pink colour when cooked. The article goes on to say that the salted pork is usually soaked for a time to remove excess salt whilst leaving the colour behind. In essence, it sounds similar to the idea behind corned beef. The use of the words demi and petit in relation to the salt imply - to me - that much of the salt is soaked out, in contrast to a ham or other product, which might be produced with a full dose of salt for long-term preservation.

Based on this, I have tentatively concluded that porc demi-sel and petit salé must be very closely-related products, if not identical. Could i be wrong? Certainly, and I probably am, to some extent. There could very well be some subtle difference between the two terms, but I can't find it, if there is one. It could be that the terms are colloquialisms; the recipe using the term porc demi-sel is from Alsace, while most of my research material mentioning porc demi-sel is from France proper (if that is the right term). 

The problem was, how would I achieve this, since - as you noted - this is not a common product in the USA, and might not be found at all?

Well, I hopefully have a solution (no pun intended) in a product that I am somewhat familiar with: Morton's Tender Quick. From what I could see, the process and product above can be achieved with a wet brine of Tender Quick (also known for whatever reason as a "sweet pickle"):

Quote Brine curing is also popular for curing meat. This method is also called a sweet pickle cure. Brine curing involves mixing the curing salt with water to make a sweet pickle solution.... If meat is too salty, soak or boil in water to remove excess salt.... Cured meat turns a pink or reddish color when cooked....

For brine curing, dissolve 1 cup Tender Quick cure in 4 cups of water. Place meat in brine, refrigerator and allow to cure for 24 hours.

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/curing-meat-with-mortons-tenderquick_topic935.html

Is this identical to the French/Alsatian process and product? Probably not; but from where I am sitting, it is really the only option that I have, and should be close.

With that, I began the "pickling" process tonight, submerging my 3.75-pound pallette de porc in a brine made according to Morton's instructions. I don't recall ever using a wet brine in this fashion, but the roast is around 3 inches thick - maybe a bit more - and I cant imagine that the brine will fully penetrate the roast in 24 hours. With a dry brine, this would not be possible, but perhaps the osmotic properties of a wet brine are different. The instructions say to brine for 24 hours, but since a description above states that petit sale is brined "for up to 2 days," I'll give it a little extra time and then soak as advised. After that Ill prepare the recipe, and we shall see if I managed to bumble my way to success.

That deals with half of your post; as for the other half, the caul fat,  it looks to be a nice - but optional - component to this dish. If I ever get the chance, I'd like to experiment with it, but won't worry about it this time.

Onward! Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2018 at 16:28

I was able to make this on Sunday, 25 February. It went very well for the most part, with some really good flavour and character. There was an execution flaw of mine; however, I know what the problem was and I know how to fix it, for next time.

Picking up from where I left off above, I allowed the shoulder roast to soak in the brine for a total of about 36 hours, give or take a couple of hours. I then put it in cold water to soak for about 6 hours. What I think I should have done was a little different than this; however, I wasn't very far off, and in total, my experiment was a success, at least conceptually. I will go into detail about that below.

A couple of notes:

The mustard that I used for this was Grey Poupon's "Country Dijon" variety:

http://a.co/gZYRUyn



Considering what I have available to me, this seemed like the best choice; I found it to be very good, and would not hesitate to use it again. The colour of this mustard did not result in the brilliant yellow finished product in the photos above, but the flavours were right on point, and in my opinion that is what counts. The coarse grind was also a bonus from a textural standpoint, in my opinion.

In a perfect world, I would have used Fischer's Fischer Biere d' Alsace for this dish; unfortunately the world is not perfect. Since I had no French or Alsatian beer available to me - lager or ale - I went with the closest geographical choice that I had access to, doing my best to keep with the intentions of the recipe: Hofbräu's Original Lager:

http://www.hofbraupcb.com/the-beer/hofbrau-original/



I believe this was an excellent choice, and I would not shy away from using it again, in the slightest.

When it came time to actually prepare this dish, I consulted the two recipes that I posted above, since they appeared to be the best representations available. I also took a look at the few other recipes that I could find for this, and came up with this:

Quote Ron's Adaptation of Palette de Porc à la Diable à l'Alsacienne

3.75-pound pork shoulder roast, brined about 36 hours in salt/brine solution, then soaked about 6 hours in cold water

1 8 oz. jar of Grey Poupon's "Country Style" mustard
Thyme
Parsley
Mustard seed
Black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 33 cl (11.2 oz.) bottle of Hofbräu Original Lager
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pat the pork roast dry, then place it in a roasting pan or casserole and slather it with mustard on the top and sides. You do not want the mustard to be too thick or too thin. Dust the surface of the roast with, thyme, parsley, and black pepper and a few mustard seeds. Flip the roast over and repeat.

Surround the roast with the chopped carrots and onion.pour in the beer and place the roast in the oven. Roast, uncovered, for about 40 minutes per pound, basting as necessary. You want to surface of the roast to crust up a bit and be golden-brown, as shown in the photos above.

When the roast is finished, allow it to rest while you remove and de-fat the cooking liquids. Slice the roast and serve, using the cooking liquids as a sauce for the roast, vegetables. and any starch that is served with the meal.


This is essentially what I did, and in my opinion, it worked well. I believe it was in the oven for about 2.5 hours, but it could have been a bit longer. After letting the roast rest, I sliced it for serving and found that my experiment with the Tender Quick and the wet brine worked nearly exactly as I intended. The roast had a beautiful, pink colour almost all the way to the center; my youngest son, Roger, said that it looked like a ham, and that is a good description. The very center had not yet been penetrated by the brine; as such, it was a light-brown colour associated with fully-cooked pork. This is not really any serious problem, since the pork was brined and cooked in a close time period, and not held for long-term storage; however, I believe that if I would have brined the pork for a full 48 hours, it would have been pink throughout the entire roast. I will try this the next time we prepare this.

This leads to the primary issue with this dish, as I prepared it. After de-fatting the cooking liquids, I had a very nice-looking sauce that went fairly well with the vegetables that we served with the pork. The one flaw with this - and, therefore, with the dish - was the the sauce was a little too salty, in spite of the fact that I added no salt whatsoever. This is, of course, almost surely because I did not soak the pork long enough; the next time I make this, I will soak it for at least 12 hours, and see how it turns out.

In spite of this execution error, which is totally mine and not the fault of the recipe, everyone enjoyed this dish very much. The pork was tender and juicy, with a unique flavour that brought all of the components together very well. I was glad to see that the concept behind my Tender Quick experiment was sound, and will work to improve it in the future when I make this, by modifying my brining and soaking timeline as mentioned above.

This dish was a very interesting look into my own heritage, as my ancestors come from Alsace. I enjoyed it a lot, and I do very much recommend giving this recipe a try; if you cannot find the “half-salt” pork called for in the recipe, do not worry too much about it. You can either attempt to brine it, as I did - or, you can simply cook the roast as it is. You will most surely be pleased with the results, either way.

Feedback, comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome; if anyone wants to give this a try, I’d love to hear about your experience!

Ron
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