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Pork shoulder is an inexpensive and juicy cut that lends itself to roasting, grilling and braising. Here it's paired with prunes, which is a natural marriage of flavors, but you can also use butternut squash combined with a few dried apricots. Serve with polenta and roasted carrots.

Perla Meyers
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2009

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Recipe Summary test

total:
3 hrs
Servings:
10
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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  • Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork in batches (do not crowd the pot) and cook until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Remove to a large plate.

  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Bring to a simmer and immediately add broth. Return the pork to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  • Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover and let stand for about 15 minutes.

  • While the stew stands, combine prunes and port in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the stew. Stir in the prunes and port. Return the pot to the stove and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

  • Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Transfer the pork and prunes to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Return the sauce to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture a little at a time, stirring and adding more as needed, until the sauce just coats the spoon. Stir the pork, prunes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the sauce and heat through, about 1 minute.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6; let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Finish with Step 7 just before serving.

Note: Port is a sweet fortified wine that provides depth of flavor in cooking. Tawny port is aged in oak, turning it brown (as opposed to dark-red ruby port). Look for it in your wine or liquor store.

Nutrition Facts

314 calories; protein 14.2g; carbohydrates 30.4g; dietary fiber 2.7g; sugars 17.1g; fat 13g; saturated fat 4.3g; cholesterol 53.1mg; vitamin a iu 505.6IU; vitamin c 1.5mg; folate 6.9mcg; calcium 39.7mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 31.8mg; potassium 507.5mg; sodium 333.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg; added sugar 1g.
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