I wanted some comfort food tonight, and found Pork Shoulder on sale at the local grocer. Since we are solidly in Fall here in the Pacific Northwest I decided to go with a nice preparation method that I've used often: Slow-cooker braising.
The combination of apples with pork is as old as time itself, and this dual preparation of cider vinegar and fresh cider works wonders to get you a tender, juicy roast every time. Reducing the liquid and adding dijon and some cayenne pepper to spice it up is a nice simple pan sauce to finish this great fall dish.
One of my favorite starch preparations in the fall is a mixture of white potatoes, yams, and apples tossed in cinnamon and topped with pats of butter before roasting in an oven until fork tender. It doesn't get any more simple than this for an amazing side for any meat dish.
Give this one a try folks, you are sure to love it.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Braised Pork
ACTIVE TIME30 mins
- 1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (Italian parsley, sage, or thyme)
- Season pork with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sear pork on all sides in the hot oil until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to the slow cooker.
- Reduce stovetop temperature to medium; cook and stir shallots and celery in the skillet until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in apple cider vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until liquid is nearly evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour shallot mixture over pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Add apple cider, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Cover, set slow cooker to Low, and cook until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 6 hours. Turn pork over every 1 to 2 hours. Remove pork roast to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Pour remaining liquid from the slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan; place over high heat. Discard bay leaf and other solids. Bring sauce mixture to a boil, decrease heat and cook, skimming fat from the top, until reduced to 1/4 of the original volume, about 10 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. Slowly whisk in cold butter until incorporated. Sprinkle in fresh herbs and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Cut pork into 1/4-thick slices and serve with sauce poured over the top.