Since the meat traditionally eaten during rural Greek winters is pork, this recipe is appropriate for cold weather. It is also a delicious way to cook pork?my favorite way, actually.
- 3 pounds lean pork shoulder, cut in small cubes
- 6 stalks celery from the heart, cut in 2-inch pieces, plus some leaves
- 1 leek, white part only, chopped
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth or stock
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- For the avgolemono sauce:
- 2-3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1. Blanch the pork pieces for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Blanch the celery and leek for 3 minutes, cool under running water, drain, and set aside.
3. In the butter, in a heavy casserole, saute the onion, then add the pork pieces and brown well. Sprinkle them with flour and stir gently. Add the chicken broth or stock, bring to a boil, immediately turn to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. At this point add the celery and leeks with i cup warm water or additional stock, cover, and simmer until the celery is tender, about 1 hour. Test meat and celery for doneness. Remove them to a hot serving dish and keep warm.
4. Keep the cooking liquid hot but not boiling. There should be at least one cup; add water if necessary.
5. Prepare the avgolemono sauce: Whip the yolks in a deep bowl, then add the lemon juice very slowly, whipping all the time. Stir in the cornstarch. Still whipping and very gradually, add cooking liquid to the egg mixture until you have a thick, rich sauce. Pour the sauce all over the meat and celery and stir gently. Grind some fresh pepper on it and serve over rice or pasta. Dry white wine, a baguette, and a green salad complete this main course.
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