Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with stock, wine, chestnuts and sweet potatoes until it’s meltingly tender.
- One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley for garnish
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts (3 cups)
Season the pork with the 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the pork is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes longer.
Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine and parsley and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the pork is just tender, 2 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and chestnuts, cover and cook until the pork and sweet potatoes are very tender, 30 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a platter. Strain the jus into a bowl and degrease with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.
Slice the pork and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve with the jus.
Make Ahead The braised pork can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.
Medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône is rich enough to go with this pork and has enough fruit to go with sweet potatoes.