Braised Pork Shoulder

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted

One 4-pound boneless pork picnic shoulder, sliced in half along the grain

Kosher salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 fennel bulb, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper

4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 cups dry white wine

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

3 bay leaves

1 bundle fresh thyme

3 to 4 cups chicken stock


  1. Using a spice grinder, grind the coriander and cumin seeds until they are a fine powder.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Sprinkle the pork shoulder with the ground spices and salt, then tie each piece so they cook evenly.
  4. Coat a Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Brown the first pork on all sides. Remove the pork from the pan and reserve. Ditch the fat in the pan and give a few drops of new oil. Repeat with the second pork and remove.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and toss in the fennel and onions and season them with salt and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Cook the onions and fennel until they are soft and very aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  6. Add the wine and reduce by half. Stir in the mustard and add the bay leaves and thyme. Return the pork to the Dutch oven and add stock to the pan until it comes halfway up the side of the pork. Add salt if needed. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and put the Dutch oven in the preheated oven.
  7. After 1 hour, turn the pork over and add more liquid to the pan if the liquid level has gone down. Cover and return to the oven for 1 hour.
  8. Turn the pork back over and return to the oven without the lid and cook for 45 more minutes. The liquid should concentrate.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the pork and reserve for 15 minutes, tented with aluminum foil. Skim any excess fat from the pan and reduce the pan juices, if needed.
  10. Slice the pork and serve with onions, fennel and juices.
  11. Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pinot Grigio
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