Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

I have been wanting to make this recipe for Apple Cider Braised Pork for a very long time. My mom and I went to a Chopping Block class two years ago and this was one of the dishes that we made. My mom has made it for company on numerous occasions and it's always a huge hit. I finally made it this past weekend and I can't believe it took me this long, it is so good and incredibly easy.

I think a lot of people are scared by the word braising. It sounds complicated and one might think it requires a lot of cooking experience. The only thing that it requires is a little extra time, so perfect for a weekend meal. The great thing is that most braised dishes take a cheap cut of meat which gets incredibly tender after a few hours of cooking in the braising liquid.

I served the pork with a root vegetable smash and a great winter salad that Brady found. The pork recipe makes a lot but the leftovers are just as good the next day and I am guessing that most people eating this dish will go for seconds, I know we did!

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder
** recipe from The Chopping Block
print recipe

Serves: 6
Prep/Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 T. grapeseed oil (I would suggest investing in this because it has a higher heat factor that regular evoo)
1 onion, sliced
1 c. hard apple cider, I used Woodchuck Amber
1 c. apple cider
1 c. chicken stock
1 T. rosemary, chopped

Heat a heavy dutch oven over medium high heat and add oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a couple of batches, sear the pork on all sides until golden brown. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and saute the onions until lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Deglaze the pan with the ciders and reduce by half. Add the stock and pork to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered until the pork is fork tender, about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with rosemary.

Root Vegetable Smash
** recipe from The Chopping Block
print recipe

Serves: 8 (you can easily halve this, I did and it turned out great)
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into a large dice
1 pound turnips, peeled and quartered
1 T. sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1-2 cups milk (I used skim)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the sweet potatoes, rutabaga and turnips in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the root vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.

Drain vegetables thoroughly and return to pot. Add butter and mash partially with a potato masher or immersion blender. Add milk 1/2 cup at a time and continue mashing until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

See link for the salad we made,

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