The gentle heat of the dried chiles is highlighted by the sweet pears, which become soft and a bit savory while cooking in the pork juices. With a side of greens, this is one of our favorite fall dinners. Prep and Cook Time: 3 hours, plus overnight chilling.
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork butt or shoulder (about 3 1/2 lbs.), tied as a roast
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 to 12 garlic cloves, peeled
2 dried arbol chiles
1 large mild dried chile, such as New Mexico
6 Bosc or Anjou pears
How to Make It
Rub salt and pepper all over pork. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat a large ovenproof pot over high heat and pour in oil. When hot, add pork. Brown pork on all sides until well browned (about 4 minutes per side), adjusting the heat to keep the pork sizzling but not burning. Transfer pork to a plate or platter.
Reduce heat to medium and add wine and lemon juice, scraping up browned bits. Add broth, garlic, and chiles. Return pork to pot and bring liquid to a boil. Cover pork and bake in oven until tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 hours.
Quarter, core, and peel pears. Add pears to pot, cover, and bake until pears are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve hot, with pan juices.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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With the combination of pork butt (shoulder), chiles and bosc pears, all among our favorite things, my husband and I had high expectations for flavor, but they weren't quite met. We're glad we tried this recipe, but with "so many recipes and so little time", it's not one that will have a repeat showing in our kitchen. Still, the flavors are good enough and it is so beginner simple to cook that it's worth a try for anyone. Recommend defatting the pan juices before using them. One of the things that makes port butt so tasty is the high fat content, and the pan juices have a LOT of fat in them, so they are really more tasty with some of that removed.
Initially, I thought this recipe looked amazing, but too much work. After a second look, I realized it was very easy. I made it, and impressed my husband beyond my wildest dreams. This will definitely be the one I make the next time guests come over.
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