Apple cider-braised pork shoulder

Apple cider-braised pork shoulder... and a perfect pairing for fall

Yield: Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 4.5 hours



  • 4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder blade
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 small McIntosh apples
  • 1 head garlic
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups unpasteurized and unsweetened apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley for serving

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium or medium-high heat and sear the pork shoulder on all sides, until each side is crispy and golden. About 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the onion, carrots, and apples into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel the garlic.
  4. After the meat is seared on all sides, remove the pork to a plate and add all the vegetables and leaves from the thyme sprigs to the Dutch oven. Add more oil, if there’s not enough. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Return the pork to the pot and place on top of the softened veggies. Scrape all the liquid from the plate (if there’s any) into the pot. Add the apple cider, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.
  6. Once the cider is boiling, cover the pot with a lid and place into the oven for three hours. After three hours, flip the meat over and cook for another 1 hour.
  7. The vegetables will soften and almost melt into the cider and the meat will become extremely tender and soft. Serve with the sauce poured over the mashed potatoes and the pork pulled into strands. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.

Note: Keep on the butchers twine during searing and then take it off before adding the meat back to the pot.

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