Ms. Waffle is currently spending some time improving her French skills. Good on her.
Turns out, one of her teacher is Italian. Sì, signore. Massi has a PHD in French Literature. And he apparently has an obsession with French Canadian culture. Good on him.
Recently, Massi asked her about the traditional Quebec holiday dish: Le ragoût de pattes de cochon.
Basically, a pork stew.
He’d never had it, and was wondering if it tasted as good as it sound. She asked me about it, and ever since, I’d been craving it.
So today after work, I got to work. I had gotten the supplies over the weekend and was ready to roll.
For the base:
2 pork legs
coarse salt to taste
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of ground clove
1 tsp. of pepper
1/4 tsp. of nutmeg
1/3 tsp. garlic salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 big onion
1 celery stalk
For the meatballs:
1 1/2 pound of ground meat (half pork, half ground beef)
2 tbsp. parsley
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of dry mustard
2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. of olive oil
Clean the legs. Cut them into chunks.
Mix the first batch of spices in a bowl. (I gave you measurements, but I basically eyeball it.)
Roll the legs into the spice mixture.
Add oil to a hot Dutch oven (or another deep-bottomed pot) and brown the meat.
Cut the celery and onions in big pieces, and add to the pot.
Let everything sweat for a few minutes, then cover with water.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 2 hours.
Once the flesh easily comes off the bones, remove the legs from the pot and let cool.
Sift the broth and return to the Dutch oven.
With a fork, pull the pork from the bones and return to the Dutch oven.
Put a cast iron pan on low.
Add the flour, stirring regularly until you get a nice, golden colour.
(You can also buy it pre-toasted, but you control the flavour here.)
Once done, mix the ground meat with the second batch of spices and make meatballs.
Roll them in the grilled flour. (Save the remaining flour.)
Add olive oil to a large frying pan, brown the meatballs.
Add the meatballs to the pot.
Deglaze the pan with a scoop of the broth. (Make sure to scrape all of the tasty bits!)
Add 1/3 of the remaining grilled flour to the pan, mixing with the leftover fat.
Add a couple of scoops of the broth and stir with a whisk.
Repeat as needed, until you have used all of the flour.
Once you have reached a smooth consistency, pour into the Dutch oven.
Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring gently.
Serve with mashed potatoes, pickled beets, fresh bread and butter.
Update: 2017-12-20 17:45
We had plenty of leftovers, so we send a portion to Massi.
He was, apparently, ecstatic: “This is the stuff of legend,” he said.