Apple Cinnamon Roasted Pork Shoulder with Sweet Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit
4.5 lb pork shoulder
2 t olive oil
1 large onion-minced
6 medium carrots-cut into 2 inch lozenges
4 medium sweet potatoes-medium dice
2 Granny Smith apples-each cut into 8 wedges
1 Anjou pear-cut into 8 wedges
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup fresh thyme-minced
2 cloves garlic-minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1. Trim any excess fat from the pork (you may leave as much or as little fat as you'd like; it adds a whole lot of flavor!); score the skin with your knife (by making a criss-cross pattern).
2. On med-high heat, heat oil in a roasting pan; season pork, generously, with salt and pepper and brown on every side; once nicely browned, remove and set aside.
3. Turn the heat down to medium and add onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and cinnamon stick to the pan and coat in the fat; cook for 2 minutes; add thyme, garlic, and cranberries and season with salt and pepper.
4. Add Grand Marnier to the pan and bring to a boil.
5. Put the pork back into the pan, cover, and place into a 325F oven; cook for approximately 4.5 hours-turning the pork ~2-3 times (uncover for the last 25 minutes of cooking); oven temperatures vary-be sure the meat is extremely tender; the internal temperature should be 160F.
6. Allow the meat to rest 12-14 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the fruit and veggies-which will absorb the flavor of the meat and be extremely aromatic.