Sunday, January 10, 2010

Braised Pork Shoulder

I did a similar recipe in early May of last year using the grill, but if you want pork in the winter (as well as use this delicious meat all week), let's try this. My plan is to show a few different ways to use the pork this month (I am totally swiping this idea from the San Fran Chronicle)


Whole bone-in pork butt, about 8-9 pounds
Kosher salt and pepper
1 piece thick smoked bacon
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth + more as needed
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir + more as needed
1 small sprig thyme
1 large bay leaf


Trim pork of excess fat. In a small bowl, mix salt (3 teaspoons), pepper (1 teaspoon), garlic salt (2 teaspoons), paprika (1 teaspoon), and mustard powder (1 teaspoon). Rub over all surfaces of the meat.

Lightly cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Place a heavy Dutch oven just large enough to hold the roast over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook the until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and leave the fat in the pan (If you have a 9 year old obsessed with Bacon, you can give him the bacon).

Take the roast out of the plastic wrap and carefully place it - fat side down - into the hot pan. Brown the meat until it releases from the bottom of the pan on its own without much effort; brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the roast and set aside.

Remove any blackened bits of meat from the pan. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently. When vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize (about 5-7 minutes), add the Marsala. Bring to a boil and cook, scraping the pan, until evaporated.

Return the roast to the pan. Add the broth, Pinot Noir, thyme and bay leaf. The liquid level should reach at least halfway up the roast; if it doesn't, add equal amounts of stock and wine.

Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Crimp a piece of foil over the roast, but do not let the foil touch the roast (cover roast with parchment if foil touches it). Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours.

Remove lid, turn roast over, re-cover and cook an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a knife easily pierces the meat and the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer is around 165°.

Move roast to a large cutting board. Strain sauce. Skim the fat then place sauce back into the still-warm pan. Flip roast over and return to the Dutch oven; lightly cover pan with parchment or foil and let the roast rest in the sauce for another 45-60 minutes. Taste sauce, reduce as desired and adjust seasoning.

Slice pork and serve with some of the sauce.

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I think I am going to mess with this so I don't have to use the Dutch oven... More to come!