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Braised Pork Shoulder + A Giveaway!

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 Soy Braised Pork Shoulder 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...

Yum

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)
Print Recipe  

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.

Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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.

Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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... - Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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 - Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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 - Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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 Soy Braised Pork Shoulder 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 - Soy Braised Pork Shoulder

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 served the Soy Braised Pork Shoulder 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?

Soy Braised Pork Shoulder - Macheesmo

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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163 comments on “Braised Pork Shoulder + A Giveaway!

  1. Me me me!!! I want a book-mass present! hahaha :D
    And loved the recipe, in fact its around 10am here and you made me really hungry!!

  2. I love any cookbook that is garden-inspired! We’re always looking for new recipes for the stuff we grow in our four-season garden!

  3. There’s a pork shoulder in my freezer that has been just waiting for the perfect recipe, and I think I just found it! Wonder what else is in that beautiful cookbook?

  4. I’m a pork fiend :) This recipe looks DELICIOUS! And I have all those ingredients on hand, so – thanks for picking my dinner for me ;)

  5. “Boil the pork” is proof that nothing – nothing! – can stand between pork butt and the delicious.

  6. I always have pork shoulder in the freezer, so this would be great to try. I love how forgiving pork shoulder is, and delicious to boot!

  7. Thanks for sharing a pork shoulder recipe. I have only tried to braise pork shoulder once and will definitely try again using your version.

  8. This looks delicious! I’d love to have the opportunity to learn more about integrating fresh produce and herbs into my recipe arsenal!

  9. I would love a copy of this cookbook. Any ideas on what I could use (really LOW carb) in place of the sugar? I’d really love to try this recipe but not doing sugar at all.
    Thanks
    Pamela

    1. Hey Pamela, you could probably try something like Agave syrup. It’s still sweet, but I think has a lower glycemic index.

  10. my favorite recipe is for their tomato tart- i make it every August. Something about making tart dough is so soothing.

  11. I love to cook from my garden, and this cookbook looks really interesting. Raw dandelion greens look like a good choice here!

  12. I have never cooked pork shoulder this way, only ever whole. It looks delicious! I will let you know how I go with a sugar alternative :-)

  13. I have been looking for more pork roast/shoulder recipe – I am certainly going to try this one!

  14. Interesting way of cooking the pork. Are there any other unusual methods of cooking in the book?

    1. I don’t think it has too many unusual methods, but it does do a nice job of blending in some Asian flavors and ingredients which I like. :)

  15. My body needs to get rid of that pork intolerance it thinks it has! I typically do a pork shoulder with a Mexican flair. This recipe looks yummy!

  16. I’m always looking to try new recipes and we love everything with an Asian flair. This inspires me to try dandelion which looks great and I’ve never eaten. I may have to tell my husband it’s spinach, he’s not as adventurous. :)

  17. My hubby is not a pork fan, but I think this could get his approval. Going to try it this weekend.

  18. I love cooking and eating pork shoulders/butts! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’d also love to get my hands on that cook book that you’re giving away. :D

  19. Love the photos on their blog so I can only imagine what the book is like! I’ll have to try this recipe for the boyfriend and find some veggies to sub for me.

  20. Boiling meat before braising is a way of removing the scum that usually rises to the top, when making stews or meat soup. This sounds like a delicious sweet and savory dish that would taste really fine, cooked in a clay pot over the stove as well.
    Thank you, Nick, for sharing this recipe and for the substitutions. There is nothing quite like braised pork!

  21. I am always looking for new recipes. This one looks like it is very good and when I can afford the shoulder, I will give it a go.

    bobbie

  22. I will be trying this recipe…..it looks wonderful and I will be printing it.
    The cookbook is sure one I would love.

  23. Thanks for this recipe–sounds great! Wonder how it would be using a pressure cooker after the first simmer? Do you have any ideas about how much time to give it in a PC?

  24. I love White on Rice Couple. It was actually one of the first food blogs I discovered on Pinterest. A couple of my other favorite Pinterest blog discoveries are (of course) this one and Ezra Pound Cake

  25. I’ve done pork a few ways, but boil them is a new one on me, too! However, that sauce/glaze really makes it look gorgeous, and it sounds delicious.

  26. I would love to win this book. I really like the White on Rice blog and think they have some very good recipes. I want to learn to be a better Asian style cook!

  27. I am going to try this using watercress… I overbought on veggies at my farmers’ market(as usual):)

  28. Hey! First off – loving the meal planners. Was in Denver last week and almost emailed you for restaurant recommendations.

    Second – this braising stuff is awesome. I am following your recipe exactly and will send you a pic when it is done in t-minus 1 hour.

    Cheers Nick!

    Scott

    1. Thanks Scott! Glad you are digging them.

      Ya man… email me any time. Have lots of good restaurant recs for denver already. :)

  29. I love your step by step pics, I feel its a great guide and like to know I am on the right step with my cooking. I have tried many of your dishes. cant wait to try this one.

  30. Looks like the perfect coffee table book for my house.
    Nothing like beautiful photography to inspire the soul.

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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 :-)

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!!!

  40. 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!

  41. 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!

  42. 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? :)

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. Hey Nick – Huge fan, have made tons of your recipes. But made this tonight and with the pan cover on, there was no glaze. Should the cover be removed at some point? Loved the flavor, but had to take pork out and simmer the cooking liquid for a while together a glaze.

    1. Hey Chris! Hmm… that’s odd. The recipe is from a cookbook that I really have loved. It definitely reduced for me, but when this sort of thing happens to me I do exactly as you say, just reduce the liquid until I get what I want. Sorry it didn’t work out perfect for ya but hopefully it as still tasty! Cheers man.

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