Wine-Braised Boston Butt: French Style

French Wine Braised Boston Butt (Pork Shoulder) Recipe
Credit: Lauri Patterson
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Marinate:: 6 hrs
Total: 10 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1042 Calories
56g Fat
23g Carbs
100g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1042
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 56g 72%
Saturated Fat 20g 102%
Cholesterol 354mg 118%
Sodium 2229mg 97%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 100g
Calcium 231mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This wine-braised Boston butt is based on a French daube stew, but we made a a whole roast instead of the slowly braised stew-sized pieces typical of a daube. Nevertheless, like in a daube, the meat marinates for 24 hours in red wine, mirepoix, fresh herbs and spices. The meat is then slowly cooked in the marinade at low temperature in a Dutch oven, or slow cooker. The leftovers are amazing, and they freeze beautifully. 

Boston butt is actually a shoulder cut. It's called a butt because it used to be cured and packed in wooden barrels (butts) for shipping. And while 3 1/2 pounds may seem like a lot of meat, for this preparation it's not the case.

For cracking the juniper berries and peppercorns, simply place them in a small resealable bag and pound them with a meat mallet, heavy skillet, or even the bottom of an empty wine bottle.


  • 2/3 bottle red wine, such as a Zinfandel
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, rolled between your palms
  • 2 sprigs thyme, rolled between your palms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons  juniper berries, cracked
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped and leafy-greens reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in Boston butt, or pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or bacon fat or lard

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients except pork (including celery greens) in a 1 gallon zippered bag. Shake (carefully) to combine ingredients. Add pork and marinate for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.

  2. Every 4 hours (skip this while you're sleeping) remove from fridge, remix, and reposition it fridge to make sure all meat is exposed to marinade.

  3. Four hours before serving, heat oven to 250 degrees if using a Dutch oven or high if you are using a slow cooker. Remove meat from bag (reserving marinade) and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Heat oil or fat in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides. Add marinade, bring to a boil and scrape up browned bits. Note: the liquid should come halfway up the roast, if not add more wine.

  5. If using a slow cooker, heat oil or fat in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides. Place roast in cooker. Add marinade to skillet, bring to a boil and scrape up browned bits (fond). Add to cooker. Note: the liquid should come halfway up the roast, if not add more wine.

  6. Cook 4 hours. Remove from pot and let roast rest covered with foil.

  7. Pick bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and celery green out of marinade.

  8. Cut meat into large pieces (it will be too tender to slice). Drizzle with cooking au jus and serve with crusty bread.

What Can I Make With the Leftovers?

Add shredded meat to the remaining sauce. Serve over smashed potatoes, polenta, or rice. Or make the equivalent of a French dip by heating and then stuffing in a hoagie bun.