Thursday, December 10, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Beer Braised Pork Shoulder

It's National Lager Day!  A lager is a type of German beer that is bottom fermented and lightly hopped which means its excellent for cooking.

A slow cooked pork shoulder pairs nicely with a cool lager and has perfect flavors for a fall/winter evening, served simply with potatoes and veggies.  Use the leftovers to make a pork ragu for a Friday night Italian feast or open-faced sandwiches on Saturday for the big football game. 


Braised Pork Shoulder


6 oz pancetta
2 medium onions
1 bone in pork shoulder
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
2 cups Belgian-Style or German ale (Blue Moon Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Session or Shiner Bock)
1 cup vegetable stock


Preheat oven to 300F.

Crisp pancetta in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, until fat is rendered, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon, reserve fat in pan.

Add onions to dutch oven.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally until carmelaized, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Season pork with salt and pepper and add oil to dutch oven, and sear pork (fat side down) over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Flip to other side and repeat.

Reduce heat and add garlic and spices to pot.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add ale and stock, then add back into the dutch oven the 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 hours.

Carefully remove the meat from the dutch oven and shred the meat, using two forks.  Drizzle with warm skimmed cooking liquid (jus).

Serving Ideas:  Pile shredded pork on creamy polenta or serve next to roasted potatoes and vegetables.    

Leftovers: Mix pork with BBQ sauce and cooking jus and place on top of toasted sandwich rolls or mix with pasta sauce and serve on top of wide egg noodles or fettucine.