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Nesting: Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Sage


January 25, 2015

Recipe: Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Sage

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples

A new home has a funny but real emptiness in the corners, which get filled with each person, conversation, libation, cuddle, chore, meal, and joke that you share. As the days begin to get longer here in Seattle and the rain patters less frequently against the window, I have found myself returning to the kitchen. I have found myself filling my corners.

The Duke...who is NOT allowed on the couch obviously.

The Duke…who is NOT allowed on the couch obviously.

Last Sunday brought the family for a simple yet elegant dinner of Cider Braised Pork Shoulder, slow cooked until it melts in your mouth and served with toothsome apples and a crackle of dried sage. Thanks to cutting the pork shoulder down into approximately one pound pieces, you can enjoy a braised meal that doesn’t take all day.

The complete menu for Sunday Supper.

The complete menu for Sunday Supper.

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Sage

Adapted from Bon Appétit, Generously serves 6

Crispy bacon added right at the end gives a delightful texture medley.

Crispy bacon added right at the end gives a delightful texture medley.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tart, firm apples (such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp), cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Chopped sage
  1. Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter to pot with drippings. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook pork shoulder, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer pork shoulder to a plate.
  3. Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heat; add apple cider and 2 tablespoon vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Bring to a simmer, then return pork shoulder to pot.
  5. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork shoulder, turning after 1 hour, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Bacon and pork shoulder can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool in braising liquid, uncovered. Chill, uncovered, until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  6. Using tongs, transfer pork to a deep platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Add apples and cook until apples are just tender and sauce is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.
  7. Stir Dijon mustard into sauce; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Pour sauce with apples over pork on platter. Sprinkle with bacon and sage.


  1. B says:

    Yay!!! Happy to see you’re posting again!!!

  2. sally says:

    Hey Erina. Nice to see you back. I am not sure what you’ve been through, but life can be tough, grueling at times, sapping our energy, creativity and strength. Wherever you’ve been, I hope you are better, gaining, energy, strength and purpose again. There is always, always, our stove and passion for cooking, that keeps us grounded! Be well my friend. God bless you.

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Hi Sally,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. So truly appreciated.

      Cooking does indeed keep us grounded!

      Excited to see what’s been coming out of your kitchen.


  3. Hannah says:

    Erina, I’m delighted you are filling your new corners with your delicious cooking and family gatherings. I look forward to seeing more from your kitchen. Big hugs to you.

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Big hugs right back! Maybe we can convince Everyday Maven to do a road trip to your little piece of paradise this summer!

  4. mimi says:

    Gorgeous! That is a fabulous winter dish! I love the whole menu, and your dog!!!

  5. meghan says:

    YAY! I am so happy you are filling the corners of your gorgeous new home and filling OUR inboxes with eloquent and yummy posts. Keep it up dear!

  6. Daniel says:

    Wish I had seen this earlier… would’ve been perfect for the blizzard tomorrow. Glad to be reading this. Be even happier if I was eating it.

  7. Oh, what a great looking recipe for braised pork shoulder!

  8. Maman says:

    Corners and cookie jars being filled is a good sign.
    The Nor’easter now raging over New England gives us a day of kitchen revelry.
    Happy to have this recipe as inspiration!

  9. I Wilkerson says:

    Wow, I have some pork burning a hole in my freezer (and some frozen apple slices and cider). I think this was fate 😉

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      It was definitely meant to be!! Look forward to hearing how it turned out. Thanks for stopping by!

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