Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions

Total Time:
3 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
3 hr

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 (8 1/2-pound) bone-in fresh pork shoulder half (preferably arm picnic)
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds onions (5 or 6 medium), halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Score fat and any skin on pork in a crosshatch pattern. Make slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and insert a garlic sliver in each slit. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 4 to 5-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally with the aid of tongs and a carving fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.

Add onions to pot and saute over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Stir in cider and return pork to pot. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender, 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a serving dish with the aid of tongs and carving fork. Boil cooking juices with onions until mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, 2 to 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and serve with pork.

Note: Pork can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered. Reheat in liquid, covered, at 325 degrees F, for 1 hour.


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