Cook it :: Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

This is possibly one of my favorite things to come out of my experiments cooking with cider.  It is the perfect fall dish: it's warm, comforting, and evocative of knit sweaters and fireplaces.

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

2 pounds pork shoulder spare ribs
¼ cup flour
2 large onions, sliced
1 fennel bulb
2 cups apple cider, divided
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 spring rosemary
salt and pepper
canola oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Pour ¼ inch of oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven (leaving the lid off) and set over a medium heat stove.  Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  Dredge meat pieces through flour and place in hot oil.  Be careful of splatters.   Brown meat on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.

Pour off excess oil so only two tablespoons remain in the bottom of the pan.  Put onions and fennel into the pan and sprinkle remaining dredging flour over the top.  Stir gently.  When flour has been absorbed by the liquid, and you can’t see anymore ‘white’ flour, deglaze the pan with one cup apple cider.  Stir once to ensure all liquid is evenly distributed.  Let cider reduce to a thick ‘gravy.’  Add remaining cider and broth and bring to a boil.  Drop rosemary into the pan.

Very carefully, place reserved meat on top of the cooked apples being sure to keep the browned edges intact.  Place the lid on the pan and put the pan in the preheated oven.  Bake for two hours. 

Shred meat gently with two forks.  Serve hot over cooked egg noodles. 

If you read the magazine you'll note that while the recipe is called "Cider Braised Pork" we accidentally told you to buy beef in the recipe.  Yikes!  You can buy beef, but if you do, change the amount of salt you use.
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