ROTI DE PORC POELE (braised pork roast, for six)
a 3 pound, boneless Boston butt pork roast
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 sliced yellow onion
1 sliced carrot
2 cloves unpeeled garlic
a medium herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, ½ bay leaf and ¼ teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth)
½ teaspoon sage or thyme
½ cup dry white wine, stock, canned broth or water
1. Preheat the oven to 400*.
2. Dry the meat thoroughly with paper towels. Place the oil in a heavy, ovenproof casserole just large enough to hold the meat and set over moderately high heat. When oil is almost smoking, brown the pork on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove pork to a side dish.
3. Pour all but 2 spoonfuls of fat out of the casserole. (If fat has burned, throw it all out and add more butter). Stir in the vegetables, garlic and herb bouquet, cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
4. Place the meat in the casserole, fattiest side up. Season with salt, pepper and sage or thyme. Cover the casserole and heat it until the meat is sizzling, then place it in the lower third of the preheated oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 325* and roast pork for about 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 180*. Baste the roast 2 or 3 times during the cooking with the juices in the casserole and regulate oven heat so that the pork cooks slowly and evenly. The pork and vegetables will render about 1 cup of juices as they cook.
5. When it is done, place the pork on a hot serving platter and discard trussing strings.
6. Pour the wine, stock or other liquid into the casserole and simmer slowly for 2 to 3 minutes. Then tilt the casserole and skim out all but a tablespoon or two of fat. Mash the vegetables into the juices and boil rapidly until you have about 1 cup. Strain into a hot gravy boat and serve. (If you are not able to serve immediately, return pork and sauce to casserole. Cover loosely and set in turned-off oven with door ajar. The meat will stay warm for a good half hour).
adapted from Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume 1