cider braised pork with shallots & apple

When I started trying to evolve my cooking skills to a more technical level I remember obsessing with complicated stuff, using 209137 pots and pans and searching for hard to get ingredients. After that fad passed there were a good three months where all I did every sunday was patiently cook braised meat and chicken and baking fresh bread. After all my efforts I still cannot be consistent with the bread but I think my braised meat is at a very high level. Below you can find the first recipe I tried which is the simplest I have and I will slowly post the more complicated ones with some surprise ingredients like chocolate…
What I am trying to do here is combine the nice juicy, tender, fragrant result of the braising method with the nicely caramelized exterior of a roast.

– mel

Ingredients:
– 3 tbs sunflower oil
– 2kg pork shoulder (with the bone)
– 100ml cider vinegar
– 200ml apple juice (no added sugar)
– 200ml cider beer
– 15 shallots
– 1 red apple
– 1 tbs honey
– 3 sprigs of thyme
– 2 garlic
– 3 clove studs
– 2 bay leafs
– 1 tbs honey
– 1 tbs butter
– salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. score the fat layer and liberally season the meat with salt & pepper.
2. place a wide bottomed heavy skillet on the stove & bring the temperature to high, once it reaches the desired temperature, add 3 tbs of sunflower oil to the skillet & then the meat. Brown the meat evenly on each side, approx. 3 minutes per side.
3. remove from the heat & remove the pork & place it on a plate. Drain the oil from the pan. Return the pan to the stove top & lower the heat to medium. Add the shallots & the butter to the pan. Use a spatula to stir the shallots & at the same time, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan left from the pork. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. add vinegar, juice, cider, honey, apple, bay leaf, clove, thyme to the shallots, stir to combine everything & transfer the mixture into a dutch oven together with the meat. If the liquid does not cover the meat completely, top it up with vegetable stock until the meat is submerged by 2/3.
5. set the oven to 160ºC & cook for 3 hours.
6. remove from the oven & carefully remove the liquid & transfer it into a pot. Return the pork & shallots back to the oven for another hour so that the exterior obtains a nice caramelization.
7. slowly simmer the liquid until it thickens to a nice sauce.
8. remove the pork from the oven, pour half of the sauce back onto the pork & onions after they have been transferred to a serving platter & put the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat. Serve hot.

Tips:
– if you want to avoid the transfer either cook in the dutch oven with the braising liquid covering most of the meat or place it in a wide roasting pan as you would a typical roast beef.
– the cut of meat is the front shoulder with part of the leg…you can use the back leg as well and make sure to score the fat.

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.

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2 thoughts on “cider braised pork with shallots & apple

  1. Yum! I do shoulder or as they are called here butt roasts every other week and I cant wait to try this recipe. Why do you have to score the fat? I would be pissed if someone scored MY fat.

    • You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Scoring the fat though helps it to render. You want to keep the fat on the meat because it helps the meat to stay moist & flavorful, but if you don’t score it, it can end up having large chunks of fat left which are unpleasant when chewing. If you chose to score it, make sure not to cut the meat itself.

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