I believe there are fewer things tastier than a pork roast. A standing rib roast is perhaps the most elegant presentation, or you can purchase a bone-in shoulder roast, toss it into a pot and braise it. My favorite, by far, is the latter.

     The recipe below is a bit busy, and it will take some time, but it is worth it. The spices are salt, pepper, coriander, and which are added to a braising liquid of apple juice (reduction), Calvados (apple brandy), and white wine.

     Toss in some garlic, onion, fresh fennel, and shallots and add Dijon mustard to the pot. Cook stovetop and then braise for about three hours in the oven, and something magical happens. Your kitchen will be filled with some of the best smells possible.

     And the beauty of this is that it is cheap. The price of a beef fillet is around $35 a pound. A shoulder roast is about $1.98 a pound. And a 6-pound roast will feed an army, and you will eat like royalty.

Pork Roast Braised Shoulder

yields: 12 prep time: 1 Hours cook time: 4 Hours
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6-lb. 2 Tbsp To taste 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 3 cups 5 5 cloves 1 bulb 1 1/4 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup 3 cups (+) 3 cups 4 Tbsp
Pork shoulder roast cut in six pieces EVOO Salt and pepper Coriander Cumin Apple juice or cider Shallots peeled and quartered Smashed Fennel Onion quartered Dijon mustard Calvados or apple brandy White wine dry Chicken stock Apple cider or apple juice Butter
  • 6-lb.
    Pork shoulder roast cut in six pieces
  • 2 Tbsp
  • To taste
    Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 3 cups
    Apple juice or cider
  • 5
    Shallots peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 bulb
  • 1
    Onion quartered
  • 1/4 cup
    Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup
    Calvados or apple brandy
  • 1 cup
    White wine dry
  • 3 cups (+)
    Chicken stock
  • 3 cups
    Apple cider or apple juice
  • 4 Tbsp


Ahead of time:

  1. Season pork all over with salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin.
  2. Refrigerate until about an hour before starting to prepare roast.
  3. Reduce over med-high heat the 3 cups of apple cider or juice down to 1 cup.

Time: About 4 hours

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  2. In a skillet, warm 1/4 cup EVOO over med-high heat.

  3. Sear pork pieces on all sides. Remove to platter.

  4. Add 2 Tbsp of butter to Dutch oven and add shallots, garlic, fennel, and onions. Cook stirring for about 3 minutes.

  5. Add Calvados (apple brandy), Dijon mustard, and wine. Deglaze. Bring to boil and let almost all cook down.

  6. Add chicken stock and reduced apple cider, and return to boil.

  7. Drain liquid into 3-qt saucepan and leave on simmer. Discard solids.

  8. In an 8-qt Dutch oven melt 2 Tbsp of butter over med-high heat.

  9. Return liquid and meat to Dutch oven. Bring to simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook for about 3 hours.

  10. Remove pork from oven and transfer pork to cutting board. Cut into appropriate-sized portions.

  11. Can serve with either a gravy or with the braising liquid as an au jus.

Recipe for gravy:

  1. Add some braising liquid, butter, and a dollop of demiglace to pan.
  2. Add some flour, and reduce to the consistence of the gravy you like.
  3. Some horseradish sauce can be added to meat portions, and then the gravy added to cover the meat.
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