Recipe challenge ingredients

Braise — Brown it, simmer it, sauce it.

Pork — Chops? Tenderloin? Ribs?

Potato — Mashed or french fried? We all love a potato.

Thyme — Herbaceous, savory, and great in roasted dishes, in marinades, and most anywhere else.

Mushroom — Nutritious and more than a dozen varieties for endless cooking options.

Arugula — A uniquely spicy leafy green.

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Braise: pork, potato, thyme, mushroom, and arugula

What are a few of my favorite things? Pork, potatoes, and mushrooms, of course.

Try pork, arugula, and potato for your protein, vegetables, and carbs. Have fun with it by adding thyme and mushroom.

It’s up to you whether you want to throw everything together into a single dish or whether you want to separate them into a main course and one or more side dishes. But to make things more challenging, roast/bake at least one of the dishes.

Recipe Ideas

Braised Pork Shoulder with Parmesan Gnocchi, Roasted Mushrooms, and Arugula

Braised Pork Shoulder

A perfect hot comfort food for a cold evening.

Prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 105 minutes.
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • Sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • A few cups veggie or chicken broth (or one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes if you want a tomato sauce)
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
  1. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork, turning to brown the sides. Once all sides are browned, remove meat, drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat/oil.
  2. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften and turn brown. Turn heat to low, then add the tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Turn heat up to medium and add wine to deglaze the pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape any bits stuck to the bottom.
  4. Return the browned meat to the pan, then add thyme and broth (or tomato sauce). The meat should be about 70 percent covered in liquid. Bring this mixture to a boil, tent with foil, and braise in a 325 degree oven for 1 ½ hours or until very tender and easy to shred.

Parmesan Gnocchi, Mushrooms, and Arugula

Serve this with the braised pork (above).

Prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 25 minutes.
  • 8 ounces homemade or packaged parmesan gnocchi
  • 3 portabella mushrooms, washed, stems and fins discarded
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces arugula
  • Grated parmesan
  • Fresh oregano or parsley
  1. Coat the mushrooms in olive oil and place on a foil-lined pan. Season with salt and pepper and toss in a few sprigs of thyme.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees or until mushrooms brown and start to shrivel (about 20 minutes). Allow them to cool slightly, then dice them.
  3. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water until soft. Drain, then toss with oil and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the gnocchi, mushrooms, and arugula. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Serve topped with braised pork (see previous recipe) and some of the braising liquid. Garnish with grated parmesan and fresh oregano or parsley.

Show us your recipes!

Whether you’re a professional food blogger or just an enthusiastic amateur chef, we’d love to see what you come up with for this random cooking challenge. Use the form below to tell us about your recipe or collection of recipes that match the criteria above. We’ll be happy to post a link to your pages!

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