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Rach shares her holiday roast, and it's glorious! She slathers a fragrant paste of ginger, garlic, prunes and spices on boneless pork shoulder (you can sub lamb) and slow-cooks it on a bed of sliced onions, dried figs, red wine and stock. The tender, juicy meat gets an extra boost of flavor from a mixed herb, pistachio and citrus zest gremolata. For side dishes, Rach suggests dark greens sauteed in olive oil with garlic and lemon; roasted carrots and leeks; and, for a starch, mashed potatoes or polenta.
John created this Cranberry Negroni to kick off the special meal.
For the slather paste, combine ingredients in food processor. Form a paste by pulsing several times.
For the roast, pierce meat all over with small slits using sharp small knife. Season liberally with salt and pepper, slather with paste and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temp 1 hour before cooking.
For the gremolata, finely chop herbs, nuts and zest together.
To roast, preheat oven to 400°F, with rack at center.
In a large Dutch oven, large cast-iron pan or roasting pan, arrange the onions and dried figs with red wine, about 2 cups warm bone stock with demi-glace and bundle of thyme and bay.
Top with meat and roast 45 minutes, then cover with lid or 2 layers of heavy-duty foil and roast 3 hours until very tender. Let stand 30 minutes and serve with gremolata and sides of choice.