BRAISED PORK SHOULDER

PORK SHOULDER, WHICH IS SOMETIMES CALLED PORK BUTT, HAS GOTTEN VERY POPULAR.  NO WONDER.  IT’S DELICIOUS AND INEXPENSIVE; A COMPLEX MASS OF FAT AND LOBES OF MEAT.  BUT IT’S TOUGH AND REQUIRES LONG, SLOW COOKING.  THE TRICK IS TO BRAISE IT LONG ENOUGH SO THAT IT’S TENDER, BUT NOT SO LONG THAT IT FALLS APART AND LACKS TEXTURE.  NO LIQUID IS ADDED IN THIS RECIPE.  INSTEAD, THE PORK IS BROWNED FIRST, THEN SET ON A BED OF ONIONS AND FENNEL, SEALED TIGHT IN A DUTCH OVEN BEFORE STICKING IT IN THE OVEN.  THE VEGETABLES YIELD A SURPRISING AMOUNT OF LIQUID AND SERVED WITH BLACK BEANS, STEAMED RICE AND CUBAN-STYLE ONIONS, MOISTEN AND FLAVOR THIS ALREADY TOOTHSOME CUT.  FORGET THE WINE.  SERVE WITH A DARK BEER OR A HOPPY I.P.A.
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