Braised Pork with Roots and Fruits Recipe

1 6-pound boneless Boston butt, tied with a string
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, plus more for seasoning the sauce
Olive oil to film Dutch oven
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup chipotles in adobo sauce (see notes)
1 pound pearl onions, peeled (use frozen onions, if you'd like)
1 pound shallots, peeled
1 pound baby carrots
5 parsnips, peeled, trimmed and sliced
2 cups, packed, dried fruits (I used a mixture of apricots, dried plums, dried cranberries and dried cherries)
3 cups port (see notes)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Take the Boston butt and rub the 2 tablespoons of ancho powder all over its surface. Set the pork butt in a 7- to 8-quart oven-proof Dutch oven that's been filmed with olive oil and set over medium heat. Brown the pork butt on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes, then remove to a platter.

Add the orange juice to the pot and raise the heat to medium-high. Scrape up the browned bits. When the liquid bubbles, add the chipotles in adobo to the pot, stir and let simmer a minute.

Add the onions to the pot, cook a minute, then add the shallots to the pot. Cook another minute, then add the carrots and the parsnips. Cook until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 10 minutes, then add the dried fruits to the pot. Stir in the port and the balsamic vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute. If you'd like a smokier sauce, add more ancho chile powder at this point. If you'd like a sauce with more heat, toss in a couple more chipotles in adobo.

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Return the pork butt to the pot. Spoon up the fruits and vegetables to cover the pork. The meat should be surrounded by liquids, fruits and vegetables. Cover the pot and remove from the stove top to the preheated oven.

Braise, covered, for about 4 hours, turning the pork several times during the cooking process. The meat should be fork-tender when done. You can keep the pork in the oven, at warm, if need be.

To serve, slice and serve topped with lots of the fruits and vegetables and sauce. You also can "pull" the pork, removing a hunk of the meat to a skillet and shredding it with a fork. Add sauce, letting the pork shreds sop it up, and serve with rolls or biscuits.

Serves 10.

Notes: The heat levels on various brands of chipotles in adobo can vary, so taste yours before adding it to the dish, and adjust to your personal preferences. Don't bother going vintage with the port: A $12 bottle of Sandemans, Fonseca or Quinta do Noval will do just fine.


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