Apple Cider Braised Pork

  • 1 3-4 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of oil until smoking. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. When browned, set on tray off to the side. Add remaining oil and brown onions and carrots for 4-5 minutes. Add apple cider, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown, caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce by ½. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and pepper corns. Return shoulder (and any juices left on the tray) to the pot. The liquid should come about ¾ of the way up the sides of the shoulder. If you need more liquid, add a bit more chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil, cover and place in oven. After about 2 hours turn the shoulder over in the liquid and return to oven for another 1-2 hours or until the meat is tender, juicy and pulls away with only a fork. Cooking time will depend on the size and shape of your shoulder. To serve, remove pork from pot and portion. Strain liquid through mesh strainer and reduce by ½. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve as a sauce.

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