Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions
Adapted from Gourmet

1 (3- to 4-lb) bone-in fresh pork shoulder half (preferably arm picnic) [I’ve used shoulder in the past, but decided on a shank this time – came out amazing!]
2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb onions (5 or 6 medium), halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider


Preheat oven to 300°F.

Score fat and any skin on pork in a crosshatch pattern – making x’s in the meat with a paring knife. Cut slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and place a garlic sliver into each slit. Pat the shoulder dry and season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a 4-5 quart oven-proof heavy pot (such as this) heat oil medium-high heat until hot. Make sure the oil doesn’t smoke but will sizzle when you place the pork should in the pot. Brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally for about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate and set aside.

Next, add your onions to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, the onions grow soft and golden. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized.

Add cider to the pot, and place the pork back in the pot.

Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender about 3 – 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a serving dish. Reduce your braising liquid by boiling the cooking juices for about 5 minutes, or until reduced to about 2 cups. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve alongside pork.

Serves 4.

© 2023 Olga Massov