Roasted unmalted barley and malted barley is what makes Guinness Beer taste the way it does. Add dried cherries and Molasses this to a recipe and you are starting to create a great combination of flavors. Then comes the pork.

I’m not sure of how to describe this meal. Its a great meal any time of the year. The reduction of the Guinness Beer, dried cherries, Molasses make a wonderfully, thick “gravy” that can be put on the pork or mashed potatoes. Taking a piece of bread and sopping up the “gravy” is a meal in itself.

I don’t remember where I got this recipe. So, I can’t claim it as mine.

5 cups Guinness stout

1 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp vegetable or extra-virgin olive oil

1 (5 1/2-pound) pork shoulder roast

Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Lg red onions, peeled and sliced

1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

5 whole allspice, crushed

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup molasses

3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar

2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and roughly chopped

1. Bring the stout, cherries, and vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.

2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.

3. Warm the oil in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt and ground black pepper and sear on all sides until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork shoulder to a platter. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot.

4. Add the onion and the crushed black pepper to the pot and saute for 7 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the pork shoulder, the marinated cherries and liquid, allspice, bay leaves, molasses, brown sugar, 1teaspoon salt, and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. Cover the pot, transfer it to the oven, and braise for 1hour, turning the pork once during cooking. Add the sweet potatoes and continue to braise for 2 more hours, turning two more times. If the sauce is too thin or is not flavored intensely enough, ladle most of it off into another pot and simmer it until it thickens and intensifies. Then add it back to the first pot.

6. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce on top.