A trip to Italy inspired Belmont Butchery's Chris Mattera to create this braised dish. "In Italy, it's easy to imagine someone saying, 'Well, all we have is some pork, cream and a lemon—let's put it in the oven and see what happens,'" Mattera says. What happens with a big cut like this picnic shoulder is that the pork infuses the cream with rich flavor. Mattera also recommends trying this recipe with Boston butt or even rib roast.
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One 7-pound bone-in pork picnic shoulder, with skin
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 sprigs of sage
2 cups heavy cream
5 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 300°. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, add the pork, garlic, sage, cream and water. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon in strips. Add the zest to the casserole. Halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and braise the pork in the oven for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.
Transfer the pork to a plate and pat dry. Strain the liquid into a heatproof bowl and skim off the fat. Return the liquid to the casserole and boil until reduced to 2 cups, 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Carefully add the pork, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until the skin is crisp, 15 minutes; use 2 pairs of tongs to steady the pork. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, skin side up, and slice it 1/4 inch thick. Serve with the gravy.
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