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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Pork Trilogy: Volume I

Pork shoulder can be so juicy and so "falling off the bone" good, literally, when braised slowly and properly. If you are looking to make something good, try this one. Wait, I'm sorry, try this trilogy of recipes.

This is Volume I: how to properly braise pork shoulder (with beer). Then, in my next two blog posts, I will share with you Volumes II and III, where the tastiest dinners were made with the braised pork. Braise it on Sunday; eat it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Perfect.

Beer Braised Pork Shoulder

Braised Pork Shoulder
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4 to 6 (or 8-10 if serving smaller portions along with other side dishes)
  • 4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (4lbs), skin-on (I remove it after cooking but it adds flavor during the process)
  • coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 head garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, toasted and ground (optional, depends if you like the taste of fennel)
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed coriander seeds
  • 2 cups of Belgian-style ale
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Crisp pancetta in a large dutch oven over medium-low heat, until fat is rendered (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  2. Add onions to dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add oil to dutch oven, and sear pork, fat side down, until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat.
  4. Add garlic and spices to pot. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ale, stock, pancetta, and onions; bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven, and braise pork, covered, basting every hour, until meat is falling off the bone, about 4.5 hours. Shred meat (should be effortless at this point) using 2 forks, and drizzle with warm au jus. 
  5. Serve some pork over polenta, gnocchi or potatoes with some au jus drizzled over it.


  1. Pork Trilogy?!!I love this, I'm hooked already =)

  2. You had me at Pork Trilogy! I love braising pork shoulder - and can't wait for your next two posts!

  3. i love how you used pancetta to bring in some great flavors! when i make turkey i cover it with bacon strips! lol :).

  4. Delicious - I love GOOD pork shoulder! I can't wait to see your next two entries...

  5. Beer Braising....sounds good!

  6. Love the look of your braised pork. It looks very succulent!

  7. Awesome, the pork sounds like it was very flavorful and succulent!

  8. Oh my gosh that looks SO GOOD. i can definitely have it 2 more times, very worth a trilogy. I just found your blog and can't wait to explore!

  9. Yummy Braised Pork Shoulder you got there Jessica!