Season the pork all over with salt, pepper and thyme. In a large, heavy-duty casserole that will hold the pork snugly, heat the oil over a moderate heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and sear well on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a platter and drain fat into a bowl to store for roasting potatoes. Wipe the casserole clean with a kitchen towel. Return the pork to a casserole, bone side down. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-duty frying pan, combine the butter, carrots , onions ,garlic, celery and season with salt. Sweat cook, covered, over a low heat without colouring until the vegetables are soft and cooked through-about 10 minutes.
Spoon the vegetables around and on top of the pork. Add the chicken or vegetable stock to the casserole .Add the large bouquets of thyme .Cover.
Place the casserole in the centre of the oven and braise, basting every thirty minutes, for about four hours, or until the pork is just about falling off the bone.
Remove the casserole from the oven. Carefully transfer the meat to a carving board and season it generously with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and set aside for about 15 minutes.
While the pork is resting, strain the cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a gravy boat, pouring off the fat that rises to the top (store for future cooking) .Discard the vegetables and herbs (great for doggy dinners). The pork will be very soft and falling off the bone, so you may not actually be able to carve it. Rather with a fork and spoon tear the meat into serving pieces and place on warmed dinner plates or a warmed platter. Spoon the juices over the meat.
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