Pork Shoulder Braised in Cider

Posted By Stephen

Last week Kerri had pork braised in cider for lunch in a rather good gastropub (Great Queen Street on – you guessed it – Great Queen Street in Covent Garden) and wanted to try to recreate it. We had a look around for recipes but eventually just did our own thing.

We bought a boned, rolled shoulder from our butcher. We were planning to remove the skin and cook it separately to make lovely crackling, but the skin was full of rather dark hairs which didn’t look at all appetising, so we removed the skin and threw it away. This meant untying the string to remove the skin and then tying it up again and of course it didn’t go back into as nice a shape as it had started in.

We scored the fat, then seasoned the joint all over with salt and pepper. One recipe that we found said to make slits in the pork and insert garlic slices, which we do with lamb, but we didn’t do that. Another recipe said to rub it with a mixture of crushed fennel and coriander, which we didn’t do either.

We placed some onions and carrots into the bottom of a casserole dish, put in the pork and then added about 300ml of cider. We had planned to buy some decent English cider but forgot, and at the last minute all we could find was some sparkling French cider, which was interesting but didn’t taste particularly appley.

We braised the pork for two and a half hours, spooning some of the cider over then pork now and then. When it was done, we added some chicken stock and a dash of cider vinegar to the braising liquid to make a sauce. We also added some finely diced carrots, celery and onion to the sauce.

The result was tasty and very porky; probably due to the fact that our pig was apparently a very happy pig. Kerri said it didn’t taste much like the version that she’d eaten recently though; maybe we needed more appley-tasting cider and needed to baste it more often. Served with some yummy mustard mash and some steamed greens.

Sep 21st, 2008

3 Comments to 'Pork Shoulder Braised in Cider'

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  1. Antonia said,

    This sounds really good. I hardly ever cook pork yet really enjoy it when I do. I particularly like pork with apples – perhaps if you added a few chopped Bramleys to the vegetables at the bottom of the casserole, then you could mash these up into the juices to make a more appley flavour?

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks Antonia, I don’t think the picture really did it justice as it was a good dish. Your suggestion re. the apples is a good one, we’ll try that if we make this again.

  3. Lee said,

    I did a similar dish a while ago but instead of braising the joint for that long, I did it for 1 hour (with considerably more cider – about 750ml), 3 bay leaves and some sage (1 or 2 leaves should suffice), and some peppercorns.

    After an hour the whole lot was chucked in a roasting tin (fat side up), with some halved shallots, for about another hour to hour and a half depending on the weight of your joint.

    The liquid that remains (keep topping it up with cider as necessary) makes a stunning gravy when mixed with some bay leaves, double cream and if necessary again, some chicken stock to make up the volume. Chop in some finely cut parsley towards the end and om nom nom!

    Happy cooking :-)

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