This is a simple, but long-cooking pork dish with hints of Moroccan flavors goes wonderfully over some basmati or jasmine rice.
Braised Pork with Chickpeas and Heirloom Carrots
1 tangerine or tangelo, juiced and zested
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of heirloom carrots, peeled and cut in to 2" lengths
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb pork shoulder, cut in to 1" chunks, well seasoned with salt and pepper
4 c filtered water
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chopped fresh mint or cilantro
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in an oven-proof braising pan (dutch over or such). Saute the onions for 4-5 minutes, until golden and soft.
2) Add the cumin and coriander and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the spice-onion mixture starts to lightly brown.
3) Add the pork chunks, stir to coat with the onion-spice paste, and cook the pork for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned on all sides.
4) Add enough water to cover the meat, cover the pan and place in the oven. Braise for about two hours, stirring occasionally until the meat is really tender.
Since you'll need something to amuse yourself for those two hours, especially if you've finished your work and your girlfriend is at her job, might I recommend shooting a portrait of your pet? Here's a shot of Mau (Callie's cat) that I made during the braising process.
5) Pull the pan out, uncover and set on a burner. Add the carrots, juice and chickpeas and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender. You might need to add a bit of water if the pan is too dry.
6) Turn the heat off, stir in the zest. Taste for salt and pepper. Scoop the braise in to bowls and garnish with the chopped mint or cilantro. Serve with a side of rice and a glass of viognier, roussane, Pouilly-Fuisse, gewurztraminer, or sauv blanc (a balanced white).