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Cider Braised Pork Shoulder – And by “Braised,” We Probably Mean Stewed

If you watched our recent spaetzle video, you saw me serve up a nice hunk of cider braised pork shoulder, during which I wondered out loud if we’d done that video yet. Turns out that we hadn’t, so as promised, here you go.

As the title may indicate, this isn’t technically a braised dish, since the meat is pretty much covered with cooking liquid, but whenever I have to choose between alliteration, and accuracy, I predominantly pick the former.

I kept things very simple here, so feel free to add extras like carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and other fall veggies, if you like. There’s really no way to screw up a dish like this. Unless, of course, you stop cooking it before it’s done. I’ll never understand recipe reviewers complaining that the meat in a dish like this, never got tender.

Tough meat always gets tender, if you cook it long enough. Always. The problem is, people go by the times given, which may or may not be long enough. No matter what a recipe says, always continue cooking until it’s fork tender, and can be easily broken apart.  So, with that in mind, whether you’re topping spaetzle or not, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for four portions:
3 to 3 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut in 3 to 4-inch chunks
Enough Kosher salt to season pork generously
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or rendered pork fat
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly torn sage leaves
1 bottle (750 mil) hard cider, or regular cider, or apple juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup crème fraiche, or heavy cream
pinch cayenne
crème fraiche and chives to garnish

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