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Casserole-Roasted Pork Shoulder

In their charcuterie on Beaune's pedestrian shopping street, Roger and Josette Batteault sell not only sausages, hams, pâtés, terrines and savory pastries, but fresh pork too, which Josette cooks in clever and delicious ways. Jane Sigal was awed by her efficiency (she browns the onion in the casserole with the pork to save time) and by her ability to coerce so much flavor out of a piece of meat, a few herbs and vegetables and a little water.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • One 4-pound bone-in Boston butt (see Note)
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 6 parsley stems
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the pork butt and onion and brown well on all sides over moderate heat, about 20 minutes total.
  2. Tie the parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf in a bundle. Discard the fat in the casserole. Add the bundle to the casserole along with the water and tomato and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over low heat, turning the meat every 20 minutes, until it is tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil over high heat, stirring, until the juices are reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the meat into thin slices and serve with the pan juices.

Make Ahead

The cooked roast can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.


This cut is also called pork shoulder or fresh pork butt.

Serve With

Oven-roasted peeled and cored apples or roasted potatoes and buttered spinach or carrots.

Suggested Pairing

A fragrant white with pleasant acidity and slight bitter notes—such as an Alsace Gew&252;rtztraminer—will provide a spicy contrast to the tender, moist meat.

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published February 2000

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