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Garlic-Studded Pork Shoulder

Long, slow cooking transforms pork shoulder into an exceptionally tender piece of meat. Here the pork is studded with garlic slices and rubbed with fresh herbs, then braised with root vegetables and apples to create a hearty one-pot autumn meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder, about 5 lb.
  • 10 garlic cloves, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 cups apple cider

Directions:

Cut 1-inch slits, 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart, in the pork shoulder. Insert 1 garlic slice into each slit. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, 4 Tbs. of the parsley and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Rub the mixture evenly on the pork.

In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Pour off the fat from the insert and set over medium-high heat. Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the parsnips, turnips and apples, and place the pork on top. Add the cider and bring to a boil.

Place the insert on the slow-cooker base. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer's instructions until the vegetables and pork are tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and apples to a platter.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Set the insert over high heat and simmer the sauce until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce into a sauceboat.

Cut the pork into slices 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a platter. Pour some of the sauce over the meat and garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley. Pass the remaining sauce alongside. Serves 10 to 12.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.