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Miso-Braised Pork Shoulder

Serves 6-8

© by Dale Gray


  • Bone-In Pork Shoulder 1 x 4 lb
  • Kosher Salt 1 Tbs
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper 1 Tbs
  • Garlic 8 large cloves, thinly sliced, divided
  • Salted Butter 3 Tbs
  • Yellow Onions 2 large, halved and sliced
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth 1 cup
  • Unfiltered Apple Juice, Pear Juice or Apple Cider 1 cup
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 1/2 cup
  • White Miso 1/4 cup
  • Pure Maple Syrup 2 Tbs
  • Fresh Thyme 2 sprigs

Cook It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third position.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, cut 8 to 10 (1/2-inch) slits in the fat cap of the pork shoulder, and season all over with the salt and pepper. Stuff about one-quarter of the garlic slices into the slits. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to overnight. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the butter, onions, and remaining garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just start to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chicken stock, apple juice, vinegar, miso, maple syrup, and thyme sprigs, and cook, stirring, until the miso dissolves. Nestle in the pork shoulder, skin side up, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the pork is fork-tender, the liquid is reduced, and the onions are golden brown and caramelized, 21/2 to 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.
  5. Uncover the pot and return to the oven. Cook until the pork is golden brown on top, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes, then discard the thyme stems. Pull off pieces of the pork with tongs, stir into the braised onion gravy, and serve.

Recipe adapted for style, reproduced from South of Somewhere: Recipes and Stories from My Life in South Africa, South Korea & the American South by Dale Gray, published by Simon & Schuster, 2023.