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Basic Braised Pork Shoulder

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jan 14, 2013 at 3:26pm

I’ve written before about the beauty of braising a pork shoulder one day, then crafting several meals from it as the week wears on. This version is more basic than the Pork Braised with Chiles & Cinnamon, which means you can eat it even more ways. Seasoned with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper, the finished roast can be eaten as is with its rich pan juices. (Mmmashed potatoes would be a perfect accompaniment.)

Then the next day you can warm some of the pork with hoisin sauce and roll it in lettuce leaves with rice, scallions, pickled vegetables or kimchi, and a dab of chile sauce. Or ginger scallion sauce. Oh my goodness YES.

Then the next day you can warm some of the pork with barbecue sauce, and spoon it into a crusty roll with a caraway-seed studded coleslaw. You could slather ginger scallion sauce on this too, because seriously, that stuff belongs on everything.

Then for the last batch, you can fry the pork into a gloriously crispy hash along with potatoes, peppers, and onions, moistening it with pan juices as you go, topping it with a poached egg, but of course.

What are your ideas?

Basic Braised Pork Shoulder

1 boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (sizes can vary greatly)
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed & peeled
1 1/2 c. chicken broth or water
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Sprinkle pork shoulder on all sides with Kosher salt, rubbing it in a bit. Heat a Dutch oven (that can snugly hold the roast and has a fitted lid) over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the roast and brown thoroughly – to a deep golden brown – on that side. Flip the roast and brown thoroughly on the next side, continuing until all sides (including the ends) of the roast are evenly browned. Remove the roast to a plate and set aside.

With the pan still over heat, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Stir around for about 7-8 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften and look glassy. Add the chicken broth or water to the pan and top with the roast. Add a few turns of black pepper to the pan and bring liquid to a simmer. Cover pan and transfer to oven.

Bake for 3 hours, perhaps more, depending on the size of your shoulder. The pork is done when the meat is very, very tender and is easy to pull apart with a fork.

Transfer roast to a cutting board and let rest. Meanwhile, spoon fat from pan juices. Puree defatted pan juices with an immersion blender or by transferring to a stand-up blender (be careful when blending hot liquid). Return pan juices to the pan and season to taste.

Pull roast apart into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat, and stir into the pan juices. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, cover and chill.

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Older Comments

  1. By FreshTartSteph on January 15, 2013 at 4:03PM

    Thanks Tony! I appreciate the nice comment :)

  2. By Tony B | SimpleAwesomeCooking on January 15, 2013 at 3:04PM

    Nice...I appreciate the back-to-basics approach on how to cook the pork shoulder with some great options for what to do next. Thanks for keeping it simple!