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    The confident cook

    Recipe: Shred chipotle-braised pork and serve it with your favorite starch or tuck it into tacos

    Chipotle-braised pork shoulder
    Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe
    Chipotle-braised pork shoulder

    A versatile braise that is slightly sweet and smoky, and just a bit spicy, this dish begins with boneless pork shoulder (also called Boston butt) cut into large hunks, and cooked with chipotle peppers, which are smoked jalapenos often packed in a tangy red adobo sauce. Customize the heat with the number of chiles you use, and add the sauce that clings to them. The meat is also seasoned with lemon and orange juice, oregano, crushed tomatoes, and beer. It cooks for 1½ hours until it is fork tender. Shred it and serve with long-grain white rice and soft tortillas — or potatoes, polenta, or another starch — or use it as a taco filling.

    Chipotle-braised pork shoulder

    Serves 6

    4pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
    Salt, to taste
    2tablespoons olive oil
    1onion, chopped
    3cloves garlic, chopped
    2chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or more to taste, chopped
    2tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
    Juice of 2 lemons
    Juice of 2 oranges
    1can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    12ounces light beer or lager
    ½cup chopped fresh cilantro

    1. Set oven at 350 degrees.


    2. Cut the pork into 2-inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt.

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    3. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in small batches, brown the pork for 3 to 5 minutes on a side. Transfer to a plate. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon oil from the pan.

    4. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Return browned pork to the pan. Add the chipotle peppers with the sauce that clings to them, oregano, lemon and orange juice, tomatoes, and beer. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.

    5. Cook for 1½ hours, or until the pork is tender when pierced with a fork. Let the pork sit in the sauce for 15 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle.

    6. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Return it to the sauce and bring to a boil to reheat it. Sprinkle with cilantro.

    Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at