(11) Pork Sugo @ Delfina Restaurant

So, in theory, it would be nice if everything on this 7x7 list was readily available on the menu at all times. However, there are some items that are seasonal or rare. When you score those super special items it's a real treat. So here is the backstory: every day I would feverishly check Delfina's menu when it went live around 5pm before dinner service....and if it wasn't up, I'd be that person that would call, daily, to ask if they had the famous Pork Sugo on the menu. It got so bad, that one day, the lady on the other end said, how about we contact you when it is on the menu....Yes, I had become that annoying person. I was pretty mortified. I stopped calling for awhile, tried to play it real cool. Then, out of no where the owner of Delfina, Anne Stoll, personally emailed me to tell me that Pork Sugo would likely be available on Wednesday, December 14th (!!!!!!!!) and that  coud make a reservation anytime that night (!!!!!). Who does that?! Anne is the ultimate sweetheart! Can't believe she remembered and took the time, effort, and energy to reach out to me. A+++ for Anne. And A+++++++++++++ for Pork Sugo. 
Pork Sugo @ Delfina. Photo credit: Darin Dines.
The pappardelle noodles were cooked al dente, perfectly toothsome. The pork was so succulent - juicy little nuggets of gold! And the sauce (!) was sweet, rich, and creamy. I still dream about this pasta dish. I wanted to cry it was so good. My tastebuds have never been so happy. Delfina, Anne, and Pork Sugo - y'all be the trifecta of greatness.

Pork Sugo @ Delfina ($17)
3621 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Monday-Thursday 5:30 - 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 5:30 - 11 p.m.
Sunday 5 - 10 p.m.

PORK SUGO (via 7x7)
Makes 8-10 servings

2 pounds pork butt 
1/2 rack pork spareribs
Kosher salt 
Black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
3 cups sliced yellow onion
1 cup carrots, sliced on a bias  
1 cup celery, sliced on a bias  
3 cloves garlic, smashed 
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped
5 sage leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine 
2 quarts chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter 
1 teaspoon chopped parsley 
Pinch chile flakes, to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, to taste
2 pounds pappardelle or other fresh pasta

1. Cut the pork shoulder into 4 pieces. Season the pork shoulder and spareribs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, and add the pork. Brown well on all sides, remove the pork, and set aside. 

2. To the pot add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, and herbs, and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up the browned bits on the pot bottom. Add the tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half.

3. Return the seared pork and ribs to the pot, add chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer the pot to a 325-degree oven to cook until the meat is tender, approximately 2 hours. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and refrigerate overnight.

4. The next day, discard any congealed fat. Over low heat, warm the sugo through. Remove the pork and ribs from the liquid. Pull the meat off the ribs and chop. Pull the shoulder apart by hand, discard the fat, and break the meat into large chunks.  

5. Using a food mill, puree the liquid along with all of the vegetables and herbs. Return the resulting sugo to the pot, bring to a simmer, and reduce until it thickens, with good body and viscosity. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the pot, bring it a boil, and turn off heat.

6. To serve, in two batches, warm some of the pork sugo in a pan with the butter, chopped parsley, and chile flake (if desired). Concurrently drop the pasta in boiling, lightly salted water. When the pasta is almost fully cooked (approximately 2 minutes), drain the pasta, and add it to the pan containing the pork sugo. Cook the pasta in the sugo for another minute, and finish by stirring in some grated Parmigiano. Transfer to a serving plate, and serve immediately, offering more Parmigiano to grate over the top of the pasta.


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