Did you know pork is served at New Year’s celebrations all over the world? Some cultures believe pigs symbolize prosperity and abundance because of their plump bodies and high-fat content, while others say pigs symbolize progress because they push themselves forward as they root around in the dirt for food.
This dish would be a rock star at your Christmas Dinner table or even a great way to bring in the New Year. But, are you saying to yourself, eew yuck pork shoulder sucks, in a really whiny annoying voice? Well listen up you are wrong sistas’ and brothers’ pork shoulder, if it is cooked long and slow, is a rock star of flavor. It is marbled heavily with fat and is an amazingly flavorful cut of meat. Secondly, it costs about half as much or less than pork loin due to its lesser popularity among shoppers. SCORE FOR US! So don’t be hating on the Pork shoulder give it a try and think of all the good luck you will bring yourself in the New Year.
BONUS: You can cook up a larger pork shoulder in this recipe and serve the extra meat and sauce in a sandwich the next night! recipe to follow…..think french bread, brie, and pulled pork! ooo yea
Pork Shoulder with Fig Sauce
Servings: 6 -7
- 1 1/2 cups 10 oz. dried Mission figs, stems removed, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves plus thyme sprigs
- 1 bottle 750 ml. Pinot Noir, divided
- 1 boned pork shoulder butt roast (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
- 4 garlic cloves minced and separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Put figs, sugar, anise, 1 tbsp. thyme, and 1 cup wine in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until figs are just tender when pierced, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool and then chop
- Chop garlic and add ½ of the garlic and ½ of the figs in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Keep remaining garlic and figs separate.
- Using a sharp knife cut along the side of the shoulder bone, cut ¾ through the meat and open out the meat like and book.
- Take 4-5 strings of bakers twine so that it is spaced about 1 ½” intervals lengthwise under shoulder so that you will be able to easily pull end of strings together and secure
- Take half of the fig and garlic mix and spread in opening on shoulder
- Set aside remaining garlic and figs and their liquid.
- Secure bakers twine so that roast is secure and your fig mix will not fall out during cooking.
- Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp. thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and the oil. Rub all over roast.
- In dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once butter is bubbling add shoulder and sear till brown on all sides. Should take 8-10 minutes total. (you are not cooking just browning the outside). Adjust heat as needed to keep meat from scorching.
- Once browned transfer shoulder to a cutting board (I use lid of dutch oven turned upside to save on clean up)
- Reduce heat to medium cook, add remaining butter and garlic stirring often, until garlic begins to turn light golden, about 1 minute.
- Pour in remaining wine from bottle and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon.
- Add shoulder back into dutch oven, cover and place in oven.
- Bake pork until almost tender when pierced, 2 1/2 hours.
- Stir reserved fig mixture into Dutch oven with shoulder and bake, covered, until meat is tender, 30 minutes more. Pork should be falling apart.
- Transfer to cutting board and tent will foil will cools.
- Skim fat from pan juices. Place pan with juices on stove top and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp. thyme.
- Taste and season with lemon juice and more salt and pepper if you like.
- You can serve sauce as is or if you want more of a gravy texture puree in a blender and serve in a gravy boat.
- Remove twine from pork, then cut meat crosswise into thick slices or pull apart. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve with sauce.