Balsamic and Pinot Braised Pork Shoulder
Sommeliers know that pork and Pinot Noir often make a great duo, so here we take the pairing to the next level by braising rich pork shoulder in a combination of earthy Pinot Noir and complexly flavored balsamic vinegar. Serve this dish over polenta, or with plenty of crusty bread, for sopping up the flavorful braising liquid.
- 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) Pinot Noir
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) chicken broth
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, sprigs separated
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Season the pork generously with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.
Add the onion to the pot and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a spoon, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, garlic, thyme and cayenne to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and return the pork to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves and discard. Transfer the pork to a platter and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking until the liquid is slightly reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Serve the pork warm with the sauce spooned over the top. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen