maple pork butt
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON VARNEY

Maple-Braised Pork Butt With Roasted-Vegetable Hodgepodge

A deeply brown caramelized sear given dusky sweetness to the meat, while resinous notes from fresh rosemary and thyme round out the slight woodiness of the syrup. 

November 12, 2015

Serves 6

Pork Butt
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
5–6 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into eighths
1 large rib of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups dry white wine
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 sprigs of flatleaf parsley
2 sprigs of sage
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

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Hodgepodge
1 pound small potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 cups blanched, peeled pearl onions
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
3 purple-top turnips, cut into ½-inch wedges
1 butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Make the pork: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 tablespoon salt, 1½ teaspoon pepper, and paprika; rub on pork. Heat oil over medium-high heat in an 8-quart Dutch oven. Sear pork until dark brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

2. Lower heat to medium. Add carrot, onion, and celery; cook, stirring, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add wine, garlic, and herbs, scraping up brown bits. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 6 minutes.

3. Return pork and juices to pot. Add stock, vinegar, and syrup; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook in oven until meat is very tender, 3–4 hours. 

4. Transfer pork to platter; tent with foil. Strain liquid into a 3-quart saucepan; discard solids. Raise oven to 400 degrees.

5. Boil liquid until reduced by a third, about 8 minutes. Combine flour and butter; whisk into liquid until thickened, about 2 minutes. Boil 2 minutes more. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

6. Make the hodgepodge: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except chives. Divide between two baking sheets; roast, stirring and swapping baking sheets’ positions halfway through, until tender, 40 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in chives. Slice pork and serve with sauce and hodgepodge.