Using pale ale instead of a darker, heavily hopped beer prevents
this dish from tasting too bitter because the flavours intensify
during the cooking process.
60 ml(¼ cup) olive oil2onions, coarsely diced4carrots, coarsely diced4celery stalks, coarsely diced4fresh bay leaves6star anise2cinnamon quills2 tspfennel seeds1.5 litres(6 cups) pale ale1.5 litres(6 cups) chicken stock3 kgpiece of boneless pork shoulder, rolled and tied with kitchen twinePotato purée1.5 kgDutch cream potatoes, scrubbed125 gmbutter, coarsely chopped300 mlmilk
Preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a large casserole over high heat. Add vegetables and bay leaves and sauté until golden (8-10 minutes). Add spices and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add ale, stock and pork shoulder, bring to the boil. Roast, covered with a lid, until pork is tender (3 hours).
Meanwhile, for potato purée, place potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil over high heat. Cook until tender (15-20 minutes), drain and peel, then mash or pass through a potato ricer. Stir through butter and season to taste. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan until just below boiling point, add to potatoes and stir to combine.
Slice pork shoulder and serve with roast vegetables and potato purée.