- 2kg of skinless, boned pork shoulder (fat on)
- 75g of unsalted butter
- 100ml of red wine vinegar
- 150ml of white wine
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 8 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1kg of butternut or onion squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 tbsp of olive oil, plus extra for the squash
- 1 tsp of chopped thyme leaves (not lemon thyme)
- 500g of rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated
- 1 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan /Gas Mark 2-3. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and remove any string tying it together.
2. Heat a large, heavy-based casserole dish on a medium heat. When hot, add the butter and allow to melt. Place the pork, fat-side downwards in the butter, and leave to cook until the fat has turned golden brown (about 5 minutes). Turn over the pork and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the other side has coloured too. When the pork is golden brown all over, remove from the pan and discard the butter.
3. Wipe out the dish with some kitchen paper, increase the heat and add the red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and leave to bubble away until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Add the white wine, 6 cloves of garlic and bay leaves and bring back to the boil. Turn off the heat and place the browned pork in the dish, fat-side upwards. Cover with foil and make a small hole in the top to let out some steam. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, turning over the pork a couple of times during cooking. (If at any point it looks like there is not enough liquid in the pan, add a cupful of water.)
4. While the pork is cooking, toss the squash in a bowl with some olive oil and the chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting tin, loosely cover with foil, and place in the oven with the pork for 40 minutes, until tender. Check by piercing with a sharp knife – if there is no resistance, remove the foil and place back in the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the squash has gone lightly golden.
5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Chop the chard stalks to 1cm thick and cut the leaves into 3cm slices. Boil the chopped stalks for about 2 minutes, until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and keep to one side. Add the leaves to the cooking water and boil for 1 minute, until tender. Drain and set aside.
6. Place the hot, empty saucepan back on the heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Peel and slice the remaining clove of garlic and add it to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds to soften, but do not colour. Add the chard stalks and cook for 5 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning and stir through the tablespoon of chopped mint. Set aside.
7. Once the pork has been cooking for 2 hours, remove it from the oven and use a spoon to push down on it – it should just fall apart. If not, cook for a further 30 minutes and check again.
8. Baste the pork really well in the casserole with the cooking liquid for at least 5 minutes. This will season the pork and really tenderise it. Remove the pork from the casserole dish and place on a large, warmed serving plate. Keep warm.
9. Place the casserole dish on a medium heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Allow it to bubble away until reduced by half.
10. Serve the pork in the middle of the table with the sauce poured over (there’s no need to remove the bay and garlic – it’s all part of the charm). Carve the pork at the table and serve the squash and chard on the side.