What’s for Dinner: Braised Pork Shoulder - SLO Classical Academy
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What’s for Dinner: Braised Pork Shoulder

{Photo by Poor Girl Gourmet}

Braised Pork Shoulder

From Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget

by Amy McCoy/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Believe it or not, winter will soon be upon us! When I think of favorite winter meals, braised meat is definitely up there on the list. Here’s a recipe I discovered recently, and although I did not make my own barbecue sauce (I’m only a mostly-homemade kind of cook), I included her recipe here if you want to go for it and make pulled pork sandwiches with this. Or wait for a chilly evening and make it with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies…yum! 


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 (4- to 5-pound) pork shoulder (see Note below)

2 medium yellow onions, cut crosswise into ¼-inch rounds

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh

4 cups apple cider


1. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Season the pork shoulder on all sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork shoulder on all long sides (don’t worry about the short ends, you’ll be wrestling pork shoulder and oil, and it’s not necessary), 3 to 5 minutes per side.

2. Remove the pork shoulder from the pot and transfer it to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the onions in the pot and cook until they are softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mustard and thyme, stirring to combine. Return the pork shoulder and any accumulated juices to the pan, and add the apple cider.

3. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until the meat does what? Falls off the bone. That’s right, people. At that point, the meat is also fork-tender, meaning it does not require a knife to be cut. To achieve this will take 3 to 3½ hours. Pull yourself some pork from the pot, put it on a plate, top with a bit of the cooking liquid or Tangy Barbecue Sauce (recipe below), and start thinking about pulled pork sandwiches, even as you enjoy the braised pork.

NOTE: Amy prefers a shoulder that is cut flat, rather than with a protruding leg bone. You want as small a bone as you can get your butcher to rustle up. Pork butt, also called Boston butt, would also work here.

{Photo by Poor Girl Gourmet}

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

From Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget

by Amy McCoy/Andrews McMeel Publishing


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled, very finely chopped

½ cup distilled white vinegar

3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the shallot and garlic until softened and the shallot is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add the vinegar, sugar, and honey, and stir until the sugar and honey are dissolved. Add the tomato paste, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine. Add the chili powder, salt, and pepper, and give it a good stir.

3. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, 18 to 20 minutes. Okay, now, dole it out—first onto reheated pork shoulder leftovers, and then, later this week, onto any other protein that you want to jazz up with delicious barbecue taste.

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