Maple Pulled Pork
Pork and maple are best friends on any plate—and not only when you add a drizzle of maple syrup to a side of crispy bacon. By rubbing a bit of pork shoulder in maple sugar, bourbon, and plenty of bright spices, what you get by the time the pork’s done is a pot full of rich, complex sauce. Serve a big platter of this juicy pulled pork alongside plenty of thick bread, pickles, and a batch of coleslaw such as our Maple-Mustard Apple and Fennel Slaw.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the pork in a deep Dutch oven or roasting pan.
Mix the bourbon, maple sugar, spices, and salt in a bowl and pour all over the pork, turning to coat. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or foil and bake for 3¼ to 4 hours, checking its internal temperature halfway through. (The finished pulled pork should have an internal temperature of 195 to 200°F/90°C, and the texture will be right when the thermometer slides into the meat without resistance.)
Remove the pork from the oven, reserving the liquid, and transfer it to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then shred the meat with two forks.
While the meat cools, cook down the remaining liquid in the Dutch oven over high heat for about 10 minutes, until it has slightly reduced and thickened. (If desired, whisk in the cornstarch to thicken.) Stir in the maple syrup and season with salt and black pepper to taste, then add the shredded meat and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve warm.