Well, one positive thing did come out of all this snow.

When all this first happened they were forecasting widespread power outages.  That didn’t happen and our smoker got entirely buried.  So, the pork butt I bought had gone unused.

But, the second storm came along and it was time to shop the pantry.  Searching online for something to do with it I found Melissa d’Arabian’s Succulent Braised Pork.  I had all the ingredients (except the parsley stems so we just skipped those).  I also doubled the recipe.  It was excellent – flavor and texture – and so easy to make.  We served it over a bed of mashed potatoes.

Succulent Braised Pork
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian and Food Network

2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 6 large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 ½ cups beef stock or broth
1 bunch parsley stems, tied with string
2 bay leaves
1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches brown the meat on all sides until a golden crust forms.  Transfer the pork to a plate.
  3. To the pan add the onion, celery, and carrot and sweat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and sweat another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flavor and caramelize it.
  6. Sprinkle with the flour and cook another 2 minutes to cook off its raw flavor.
  7. Wisk in the wine and reduce it by half.
  8. Return the pork to the Dutch oven, then stir in the beef stock/broth, parsley stems, and bay leaves. Add the water if liquid does not come up to the top of the pork.  Do not cover the pork with liquid.
  9. Cover the pan and place it in the oven to braise until the meet is fork tender, about 3 hours. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve.