Serves 10 to 12
1 bone-in pork butt (about 5 to 7 pounds)
1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves and peeled
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1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
½ cup crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Crusty rolls or baguette
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a small knife, make several incisions about 1/2 inch long and 1 inch deep all over the pork. Cut garlic cloves in half lengthwise and insert garlic pieces into each incision. Generously season pork all over with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.
2. Place celery, carrot, onion and bay leaves in a large roasting pan. Lay pork butt on top, fat side up.
3. Roast pork for 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Add chicken stock, wine and tomatoes to roasting pan. Continue to cook pork until internal temperature registers 190 degrees with an instant-read thermometer and meat is fork-tender, another three to four hours. If pork begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
4. Transfer pork to a platter and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain cooking liquid. Skim off as much fat as you can and reserve.
5. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until a light brown roux is formed, seven to eight minutes. Whisk in remaining four or so cups of drippings, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and reaches the consistency of sauce, about 10 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
6. When pork is cool enough to handle, shred with a fork, then add it along with the sauce back to a large pan and reheat. Serve on crusty rolls or baguette, garnished as desired.
Adapted from Brian Landry, Borgne, New Orleans, for The New York Times