Cooking With Confidence
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Economical, Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Pork

Braised Pork Shoulder + A Giveaway!

by Nick

There are two very distinct categories of cookbooks in my mind. First, there are the utility books. These books have a lot of recipes packed in and are all about utility. The recipes are good, accurate, and delicious. The second category is more along the lines of an art book. Books in this category tend to prioritize glossy photos and beauty over recipes.

It’s pretty rare, these days, to find a cookbook that bridges that gap.

The new book, Bountiful, by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the lovely couple behind White on Rice Couple, does exactly that. For starters, the book is freakin’ beautiful. Some of the photos just give me a huge case of photo envy. I could just leave the book on my table and never cook a thing out of it and be happy with it.

Of course though, the recipes are inspiring as well. They are all centered around things from their garden, but have no fear. You don’t need a crazy garden to make the recipes. The recipes are accessible and, from what I can tell, really good.

I made this Asian style braised pork dish just because it caught my eye. I thought I would share my take on it and also give away a few copies of Bountiful!

Yield
Serves 6.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Braised Pork Shoulder

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, cubed
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white wine or sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Bitter greens (arugula or Dandelion greens)

Directions

1) Cube pork shoulder into about 1-inch pieces and add to a large pot of simmering water. Try to trim off any extra fat and boil pork vigorously for 10 minutes. Strain and rinse pork and set aside for later.

2) Peel ginger and slice it into small, thin coins. Smash garlic cloves as well and add to a large pot with sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, white wine or sake, and 2 cups of water.

3) STir that all together and then add the pork back to the pot. Bring to a slight simmer, then cover, and simmer the pork for about 75 minutes. Check on it occasionally and make sure it isn't burning. Feel free to give it a stir occasionally or skim off any foam that accumulates.

4) When pork is very tender and the sauce is thick and covers the pork, it's done. Serve the pork over rice with a big handful of bitter greens like arugula or Dandelion greens.

Recipe adapted from Bountiful.

Prepping the Pork

Typically, when I make a pork shoulder, I will roast it, or grill it, or slow cooker it, whole for a very long time. This slowly melts the fat in the pork and leaves you with a perfect pulled pork, but this method is a little different and totally new to me.

For starters, cube the pork and you can trim off any large pieces of fat. Shoot for about 1-inch cubes.

You can cut out a lot of the fat.

You can cut out a lot of the fat.

Then, and this is the part I had to re-read like 20 times, you boil the pork.

You read that right. Simmer it for about 10 minutes in a big pot of water. This will leave you with some somewhat cooked, but fairly unappetizing pieces of pork. Don’t worry. It gets better.

Kinda strange...

Kinda strange…

When the pork is done simmering, drain it and pat it dry. You’ll need this stuff also.

One quick note… I substituted normal white wine for sake and also rice wine vinegar for Marsala wine. I didn’t have these and didn’t feel like trekking to the store.

Goooood flavors.

Goooood flavors.

To start the braise, add the ginger (peeled and sliced) and garlic (crushed) into a large pot with the sugar. I used a mix of white and brown sugar for my version.

Starting the pot.

Starting the pot.

Then add in all the other ingredients, the pork, and about 2 cups of water to just barely cover the pork.

This was my finished pot, ready to cook!

This will already smell good.

This will already smell good.

Bring the braise to a light simmer over medium heat, then turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan. Simmer the braise for about 75 minutes. Check on it occasionally and give it a stir to make sure the ingredients aren’t sticking.

The original recipe says it could take up to two hours to finish, but mine was perfect after about an hour an  a half. The pork pieces should be super-tender and nicely coated with the reduced liquid that has turned into a glaze at this point.

Yum.

Yum.

Serving

I wanted to make  a meal out of this so I served my pork over brown rice. One important ingredient though is some sort of bitter green which balances nicely with the slightly sweet pork. Todd and Diane used fresh arugula from their garden, but I went with a slightly sturdier bunch of dandelion greens that I just roughly chopped.

A bit bitter.

A bit bitter.

I just served the pork over some rice with a big handful of the greens. Then I drizzled on a bit more of the reduced sauce and a few squirts of Sriracha because, hey, why not?

A great dinner.

A great dinner.

The Giveaway!

If you like cookbooks, you want this book.

I’m giving away TWO copies!  All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. I’ll pick two lucky winners at random next Monday (11/25)!

bountifulspread

Winners!

The two winners of the Bountiful giveaway are Clinton (#49) and Ani (#43). Congrats!

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160 comments on “Braised Pork Shoulder + A Giveaway!

  1. OMG, you have made me so hungry (as usual). I am sad that I used my last bit of park shoulder roast in my freezer, or I’d make it tonight! I know what I’ll be making for the weekend, though! Thanks for sharing all the yummy goodness!

  2. Taking that piece of pork out right now to cook for tomorrow night’s dinner! This looks totally awesome and we are big lovers of “the other white meat”. Cookbooks are novels for me and I always have one on display on the kitchen counter – I would be so proud to display (and cook) from this beautiful “Bountiful” one.

  3. My little boys are just finally willing to branch out and try new, but not too elaborate meals! Think this might be the next one I introduce!

  4. I Love the ease of this Recipe!!! Your photos look amazing, also!!! I Love to cook and try new things, and I am on a huge Asian kick (lately;-) This Recipe is one which I am keeping close by!!! I am going to my freezer now, looking for some Pork!!!! :-)
    I would enjoy winning this book so very much.
    Thank-You for the chance :-)

  5. Yummy! I have pork and this is what’s for dinner.
    Never worry Nick, your photos look great. You make great food accessible!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a beautiful and delicious sounding book.

  6. We eat a fair amount of pork around here (I don’t know if I’m supposed to be ashamed of that or not); this looks marvelous and easy too. Thanks for posting it.

    Also, yes I covet that book!

  7. What a yummy looking recipe, and so easy. We eat a lot of pork so this will give us a new recipe to try. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful sounding book.

  8. Love doing whole pork shoulder for chili or stews – would not have thought of it for something like this. Looks delicious and it will be on our table later this week!

  9. Just picked up an 8lb shoulder. It’s divided and in the freezer, was wondering what else to do with it besides pulled pork…looking fwd to trying this out soon!!!

  10. Sounds delish. I only recently became enamored of pork shoulder, mainly for carnitas, so would be interested in a different flavor. But what is the point of boiling for 10 minutes, then cooking with flavorings?

    1. Hey Andy, boiling it like that renders out a lot of the fat quickly so your finished dish isn’t super-oily. Good luck!

  11. I love getting inspired from reading cookbooks. I rarely follow a recipe exactly, unless I’m baking a cake or something. I like having fun with it. I don’t eat pork, but this recipe still looks delicious and I could replace it with my perfected broiled tofu!

  12. Oh! My! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time but this is my first comment ’cause to be honest, I’d love to have your book!!!! :) Pick meee :) please? :)

  13. I’ve been looking for some inroads to experimenting with pork other than carnitas. Although carnitas are great. I have never been a true fan of pork.

  14. I’ve never cooked pork before, so I cannot thank you ENOUGH for the step-by-step.

    P.S. I ADORE your cherry tomato sauce recipe. We use it almost every week.

  15. Do you find there to be a point with the boiling? Versus just adding more liquid and letting it braise for maybe an extra 30-60 minutes?

    Did you add 2 cups of the liquid used to boil the pork shoulder back into the braise, or was it just fresh water?

    1. I think the point is to render out some fat Matt. I just used fresh water honestly. I think if you didn’t do this then the final version might have too much fat in the sauce.

  16. This recipe looks great. Always trying to use ginger and garlic in everything so this seems like a perfect one to try!

  17. Fun. Will make it this weekend, since it is supposed to be cold. NIce since Macheesmo and White on Rice are blogs I check every single day…thanks.

  18. I was wondering why you boiled the pork first and then braised them instead of braising them directly, but then I read your answer in one of the comment above.
    Definitely I’ll give this recipe a try. Thanks for giving me a chance to get the cookbook.

  19. This Pork recipe looks so good that I just pinned it so I will remember to try it soon! Thx for the giveaway, also.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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