Pork Shoulder Confit

Makes 4–6 servings

To confit something is to cook it very slowly while completely immersed in fat. The result is super tender and satisfying. This process should be done two weeks ahead for the best flavor.

  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 pounds lard, melted
  • 1/2–1 stick cold, unsalted butter

Place pork in a large bowl, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper, and toss well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 275°. Place onions and garlic in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Pat pork dry with paper towels and place on top. Pour lard over top until it covers meat by 1 inch. Cover and cook until tender, about 4 hours. Turn occasionally but be sure pork is always covered in lard. Using a slotted spoon, remove pork and pack it tightly into a storage container, leaving room for it to be covered with one inch of lard. Strain the liquid and allow it to settle for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour lard over meat until covered by one inch. Refrigerate for 2 weeks or up to 2 months. Separate remaining fat from juices and store each in the refrigerator for use later. (The juices will be made into a sauce.)

To serve, gently reheat the pork in the lard in a covered saucepan until warmed through. Meanwhile, heat reserved juices in a saucepan. Slowly add knobs of cold, unsalted butter, gently swirling the pan to combine. Season and taste as you add butter. The sauce will easily take between 1/2 and a whole stick. Serve over mashed potatoes.

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