Balsamic and Pinot Braised Pork Shoulder

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 150 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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

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