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Braised Pork with Mustard Cream Sauce

4 Parsley stems
1 Bay leaf
1 Fresh thyme sprig (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 lg Onion
1 Pork shoulder, boned and tied (about 2 1/2 lb)
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Freshly ground pepper
1/4 c Vegetable oil
3 tb Butter
1/2 c White-wine vinegar
1 c Heavy cream
2 tb Dijon mustard
1 tb Fresh parsley (minced)


Bouquet Garni:

For the bouquet garni, tie together the parsley stems, bay leaf, and thyme (if using dried thyme, tuck it between 2 halves of the bay leaf); set aside. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat the vegetable oil in a 5-quart non-reactive Dutch oven. Saute pork over high heat, turning to sear it on all sides, about 10 minutes; set aside. Discard the oil and heat the butter. Add the onions and saute until softened and lightly colored, about 8 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Return the pork and accumulated juices to the Dutch oven. Add the bouquet garni and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Braise until the pork is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Transfer the pork and onions to a platter, cover, and keep warm. Strain pan juices and return them to the Dutch oven. Bring the pan juices to a boil, skimming them well to remove any excess fat. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and stir in the mustard. (Can cover and set pork, onions, and sauce aside seperately at room temperature for up to 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.)

Serving: Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices, arrange on a heatproof platter, and surround with onions. If pork and onions have been set aside or refrigerated, warm in a 325 F oven for 15 minutes. Reheat sauce and pass separately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


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