At Recette, we love the idea of taking a dish and deconstructing it. Here, we’ve taken the elements of the ultimate creamy, cheesy au gratin-y dish and re-imagined them as a delicious soup. We make a classic Mornay sauce using only Parmesan cheese (think: mac and cheese, potatoes au gratin) and add braised pork shoulder to give it a nice meaty quality. This alone is delicious…but we can’t just stop at delicious. We make it more interesting by adding a strong flavorful
Half an hour before cooking, grind the fennel and coriander seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Rub the spice mix into the pork shoulder and season with salt. Cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with 2 to 3 tablespoon olive oil and place over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the pork shoulder and sear on all sides until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Watch carefully to make sure the spice rub doesn’t burn. Remove the pork from the pan and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
Combine the bone, chopped carrots, celery, onion, fennel, and Parmesan rinds in a large pot; cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 4 hours, until flavorful. Strain out the vegetables, cheese rinds, and bone and discard. Check the seasoning and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Alternatively, you can add the veggies to the pork while it is braising, and strain the broth after that is done. It will be less clear, but still delicious.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While whisking, add the flour and cook until the mixture is pale yellow and has a slightly nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until a thick sauce forms and starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Grate in a bit of nutmeg and add black pepper to taste. Add the grated Parmesan and continue whisking until the cheese is melted.
Fold the shredded pork into the sauce and keep warm.
Heat up the brodo, throw in the chiffonade kale, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the kale is slightly wilted. Place a large portion of cheesy pork shoulder mix in bottom of serving bowls, pour about ½ cup of the brodo over each, and serve.