Pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt, is a flavorful, often-underused cut that’s perfectly suited to braising—long, slow cooking. In this recipe, the braising liquid contains ingredients reminiscent of Chinese roasted pork. What you end up with is a tender, juicy dish that needs only some simple steamed rice and stir-fried string beans to round it out.
What to buy: Shaoxing is a Chinese rice wine that can be found in Asian markets and in the Asian section of some high-end grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can substitute dry sake or fino sherry.
Game plan: This dish is even better when it’s made a day or two in advance.
This recipe was featured as part of our Chinese New Year Dishes for Valentine’s Day photo gallery.
Beverage pairing: A light, spicy red wine is called for to match the star anise, cilantro, orange, and pork, something a little exotic and bright like a Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany. A Chianti might be too big, so go next door for a Morellino di Scansano (same grapes) from Moris Farms, 2005.