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Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit

This recipe for Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit is from the cookbook, Foodista Best of Food Blogs.

Author Lynda Balslev writes:

One of the best things about cold weather is cooking and eating comfort food. Comfort food warms us, feeding our soul and palate. It’s rich, rustic, and innately appealing, reminding us of home, lit fires, baking bread, and beloved recipes we grew up eating. It also reflects the season, taking fresh, economical ingredients and slow-cooking them with rich, satisfying results.

Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit is a perfect fall dish that lands squarely in the comfort food category in my book. Pork shoulder slowly braises in apple cider and a confit of onions and apples until it is falling-apart tender. The cider and natural juices from the meat create a sweet and savory sauce. I fortify it with Calvados brandy and finish it with Dijon mustard, adding depth and sharpness to this hearty dish. As with most one-pot meals, it’s meant to be eaten family-style and is easily doubled to feed a crowd. Prepare yourself: the pork will cook in the oven for several hours and fill your home with its delicious aroma. In the meantime, light a fire in the fireplace, grab that book you’ve been meaning to read, and curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea.

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cooks Chris & Karen, the peche

The first recipe we made from Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook was Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit from Lynda Balslev at Tastefood. This is full-on happiness with deep, rich flavors. We would make this again for a weekend dinner when guests are coming over and there’s a chill in the air. We served it with celery root puree, and that added another level of flavor. Garlic mashed potatoes would be perfect too, as suggested on Tastefood.

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Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion & Apple Confit – Photo credit: Lynda Balslev

Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit

Featured Recipe From: Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds tied boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¼  cup Calvados brandy
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven with a lid. Brown the pork on all sides, turning with tongs, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a plate.

Pour off excess fat from the pot. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Add the Calvados and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the apple, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Return the pork to the pot, nestling it down in the onions. Add the cider and chicken stock. Cover the pot and place in the oven.

Reduce the heat to 325°F. Braise until the meat is very tender, 2½ to 3 hours.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and remove the strings.

Boil the onion and apples until thickened and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the pork into serving pieces and arrange on a platter or individual serving plates. Spoon the onion and apple confit over and around the meat.

Lynda Balslev, TasteFood (http://www.tastefoodblog.com/tastefood/2009/11/cider-braised-pork-shoulder-caramelized-onion-apple-confit.html)

© 2010 Foodista

Reprinted with permission from Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook, edited by Sheri L. Wetherell, Barnaby Dorfman, and Colin M. Saunders (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

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