Braised Pork Shoulder


I’m expecting one of my oldest friends and partners in food crime this weekend.  It’s the perfect opportunity to make a 7 pound pork roast, dripping with fat and flavor! 

Unlike the relatively austere veal roast I made for my New Year’s Eve post, this is a heartier and more tomato-based preparation.  There is rosemary, bay, white wine, and some dried porcini.  There is celery, onion and carrot, as well as some homemade chicken broth and a jar of my mother’s home-canned Jersey tomatoes from the fall (a roast like this is worthy of those tomatoes!)

Like many roasts and stews, this dish is better prepared the day before, then allowed to rest overnight before serving.  The meat will keep for a week in its braising liquid, but if I have some left after the weekend, I’ll probably freeze it in small bags and use it to dress pasta in the coming months.

Tonight I’m serving the pork with sauteed swiss chard and homemade gnocchi (tune in tomorrow for that lesson).

Braised Pork Shoulder

serves 8

7 lb boneless pork shoulder, tied into a roast

flour for dredging

1 onion

2 ribs celery

1 carrot

6 or 7 pieces of dried porcini

1 c white wine

1 qt chicken broth

1 qt whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand or in blender

8 tbls olive oil

2 or 3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried rosemary or a sprig of fresh

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to325 degrees.

Season roast all around with lots of salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour, then shake off excess.  Heat half the oil in a dutch oven until smoking.  On high heat, brown the roast for about a minute on each side.  Remove roast and discard oil.  If there is a lot of black sediment, wipe out pot, otherwise, leave brown bits on bottom. 

Add new oil to the pot and throw in onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, rosemary. 

Saute for about 10 minutes on medium heat.  Throw in porcini mushrooms, turn up heat and add wine.  Reduce until wine has evaporated. Add chicken broth and tomato and cover.

Place in oven, covered for about 2 hours.  Remove lid and return to oven for another hour.   Cool and refrigerate overnight.

Can be served as a sliced roast or shredded as a pasta sauce.

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2 Responses to Braised Pork Shoulder

  1. Steven L. Salzman says:

    Dear Franco,

    Yours is my favorite new food porn. I can’t wait to do the pork shoulder. I would have browned it slowly rather than quickly. Why did you do it so fast and hot? Also, it seems as though you changed cooking vessels when you placed it in the oven. I would just kept it in the same pot (less to wash). I can already taste it the third night over pasta. Yum!

    Keep up the really good work!



    • Franco says:

      Because I dredged the roast in flour, I wanted to brown the flour quickly and get some crunchy bits in the pan–I could have done it a little lower and slower–probably would have been fine.

      You’re right about cooking the roast in the same vessel in which I browned it–I did. I simply forgot to photograph it while it was still in its braising pot, so I photographed it while it was cooling in a shallower vessel.

      Thank you as ever for reading!!

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