Cafe Society

Little Nell's Ryan Hardy pimps pork on the Today Show

Earlier this afternoon, Ryan Hardy, chef of the glitzy Little Nell Hotel and Residences in Aspen, braved the drivel of Today Show hosts Kathy Lee Gifford and, to a lesser extent, Hoda Kotb to wax poetic about pork shoulder and chimichurri sauce.

Gifford, who predictably didn't recognize fresh oregano and stumbled over questions about Aspen's economy, proclaimed the pig "really tasty" after expressing what appeared to be shock that Hardy was using -- wait for it -- fresh herbs. And when Hardy plopped his pork steaks on the plate, he quipped, "This is going to seem a little bit different for both of you," to which Gifford retorted, "How do you know what we do in our private time?"

You can hear Hardy's response in the video clip (and view his recipe) after the jump.

Grilled pork shoulder with chimichurri sauce

Serves eight to ten


For the grilled pork shoulder

• 1 4- to 5-pound whole pork shoulder, boneless • 1 tbsp cumin seed, toasted and ground • 1 tbsp paprika, smoked • 1 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground • 2 tbsps salt • 1 tbsp sugar • 4 cloves garlic • 3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

For the chimichurri sauce

• 3 cloves garlic • 1 tbsp paprika, smoked • 0.5 cup oregano, leaves only • 1 cup parsley, leaves only • 0.5 cup mint, leaves only • 0.5 cup cilantro, leaves only • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 3 tbsps lime juice • 2 tsps red wine vinegar • Salt to taste DIRECTIONS

To make the grilled pork shoulder: At least two days before grilling, chop the garlic cloves to a fine paste and combine in a bowl with the spices, sugar and salt and extra-virgin olive oil.

Rub the pork shoulder in the paste, wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator, or two hours if you're rushed.

About a day before grilling, place the whole shoulder, uncovered, in a roasting pan and cook in a 275-degree Fahrenheit oven for six to eight hours or until the pork is fork tender.

Remove from the oven, let cool and store in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, slice the pork shoulder into 1- to 2-inch steaks, season with salt and black pepper again and grill over a hot charcoal fire for five minutes per side (sub gas grill if necessary), preferably with wood chips added to the coals.

Serve with the chimichurri sauce.

To make the chimichurri sauce:

Mince the herbs together with the garlic, add the paprika and cover with olive oil to make a loose paste. You may not use all of the olive oil.

Add the lime juice and vinegar, season to taste and let sit to marinate for at least two hours at room temperature.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson