Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Butternut Squash on the Grill

10 servings, with leftovers
Bone-in pork shoulder is one of the least expensive, party-friendly animal proteins you can buy. Boneless will work for this recipe as well, but it will cook through a bit quicker. If you end up with skin-on pork shoulder, either take it off yourself—easy to do with a sharp knife or simply cook it with the skin on and remove it after the pork is fully cooked. This pork will be the star of the $50 dinner party.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 6–7-pound bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt), preferably skinless
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 medium butternut squash (about 7 pounds total; pick ones that are about the same size and shape)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
  • 2 cups apple cider or juice
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar, plus more
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 6 scallions, trimmed
  • Steamed white rice (for serving)
RECIPE PREPARATION
  • Place pork shoulder on a rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with 3 Tbsp. salt. Let pork rest, uncovered, at least 1 hour and up to 2 to come up to room temperature. (This will help it to cook more evenly.)
  • Preheat the Arteflame grill. Slice squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and stringy parts. Season all over with salt, then rub with a bit of oil. Transfer cut side down on the grill.
  • Once pork is room temperature, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high until shimmering and almost smoking. Cook pork on all sides until well browned, about 15 minutes total—be patient! Carefully transfer pork directly onto the grill, and even more carefully pour out whatever fat has accumulated in bottom of pot onto pork.
  • Return pot to grill and add apple cider, soy sauce, and ½ cup vinegar, scraping bottom to get up any crispy, stuck-on bits. Slice head of garlic in half crosswise and add to pot. Lower pork back into pot. Cover pork with a piece of aluminum foil and tuck it around pork. Cover pot and continue to braise pork, turning after 1½ hours, until meat is very tender and pulling away from the bone, 3–3½ hours total. Bake squash until a fork poked through skin slides easily into flesh, 1–1½ hours.
  • Transfer pork to a large plate or platter, reserving pot with cooking liquid, and let rest until cool enough to handle—it’s a big piece of meat, so this will probably take close to an hour. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and squeeze out cloves into braising liquid; discard skins. Tear pork into shaggy pieces, discarding any sections of fat or gristle, and return meat to pot with cooking liquid. Season pork and liquid with salt and a splash of vinegar. Slice scallions crosswise as thinly as possible.
  • To serve, reheat pork in liquid over grill heat. Using a large spoon, scoop out pieces of squash and arrange on plates. Spoon pork and some juices over squash and garnish with sliced scallions. Serve and enjoy!

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