Ahhh, sweater weather. I love everything about you! Crisp air and crackly, technicolor leaves. Boots and jackets and blankets and bonfires. Trading in bright whites for body warming reds. And best of all, gathering friends and tucking into cozy suppers at home.
This minimal preparation and long, slow roast will give you an irresistible autumn dinner. Bonus: your house will smell amazing! Another bonus: you can cozy up by the fire with a glass of wine while the pork shoulder takes its time becoming all tender and juicy. Third bonus: leftovers are divine tucked into a warm bun with barbecue sauce. If you have any leftovers, that is.
Click below to hear one of my favorite jazz tracks, “Autumn Leaves” by Bill Evans, from Portrait in Jazz. I highly recommend buying the album. So so good.
Maple Glazed Pork Shoulder with Butternut Squash and Sage
Serve this with a simple kale salad dressed in a garlicky-lemon vinaigrette.
- one 4-pound boneless pork shoulder or one 4 1/2-pound bone-in pork shoulder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- one 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a small bowl, stir one tablespoon salt and two teaspoons pepper together with cayenne.
- Pat pork dry with paper towels then rub all over with spice mixture. In a large dutch oven, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add pork shoulder and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and thyme sprigs to dutch oven and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Return pork to dutch oven fat side up, pour in chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven for two hours.
- Turn pork over, recover and cook for 2 hours more. Raise heat to 400 degrees. Brush pork with 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and return to oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove pork from dutch oven and place on a platter. Brush with remaining syrup and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Place butternut squash on a large sheet pan, sprinkle with chopped sage, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Place in 400 degree oven and roast for 30-35 minutes until tender and light golden, stirring once or twice during roasting time.
- While squash is roasting, place a sieve over a saucepan and pour pan juices through to remove solids. Skim fat from top with a spoon, discarding fat. Bring juices to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half. Stir in lemon juice. Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
- Slice pork and serve with butternut squash and pan juices. Garnish platter with sprigs of sage, if desired.