Peposo (Peppery Pork Stew)
When ground with a mortar and pestle, black peppercorns release their aromatic oils, essential in cutting some of the richness of pork and lifting the flavors in its broth.
- 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
- 1 bone-in pork shoulder (6 to 7 pounds)
- 20 garlic cloves, halved
- 6 rosemary sprigs
- 2 bottles (750 milliliters each) full-bodied red wine, such as Chianti
- Coarse salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced, for serving
Coarsely grind peppercorns with a large mortar and pestle, or with the bottom of a heavy skillet. Make twenty slits, each 1/2 inch deep and 1/2 inch wide, over pork's surface using a sharp paring knife, and insert a garlic half into each. Pat both sides of pork with ground peppercorns, and place, fat side up, in a large bowl. Add remaining garlic, the rosemary, and red wine. Cover, and refrigerate overnight (up to 1 day).
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade. Pat pork shoulder dry with paper towels, and season with 4 teaspoons salt. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear pork, fat side down, until golden brown. Flip pork, add reserved marinade, and bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 5 hours.
Remove pork from Dutch oven, and pull apart meat; discard bone. Skim fat from surface of broth, and season with salt. Serve pork with some broth and crusty bread.