Sunday, August 20, 2006

Braised Pork with Black Cherries and Balsamic


I was looking for a pulled pork recipe that I could make in the oven, but still haven't found one that looks good. So, I have this big piece of pork butt-shoulder actually, sitting in my fridge.

I found this recipe, but it originally called for grapes instead of cherries. I subbed in cherries because I am trying to use all local ingredient and grapes aren't quite yet in season. I have never cooked a pork butt/shoulder before or really knew what braised was.

1 3 1/4-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed, cut into 3 equal pieces
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 large shallots, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
3 cups black cherries (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 large fresh sage sprigs
4 large fresh thyme sprigs
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add pork to pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 13 minutes total. Transfer pork to plate; discard fat in pot.
2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cherries; sauté until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add sugar; sauté 30 seconds. Add vinegar; bring mixture to boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add broth, all herb sprigs, and pork with juices from plate. Bring to boil. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork 1 hour. Using tongs, turn pork over and continue braising until meat is very tender, about 45 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to platter; tent with foil.
3. Remove herb sprigs from pot and skim fat from surface of cooking liquid. Boil cooking liquid over high heat until thickened, about 7 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over pork and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

I loved it. It was easy, the ingredient were inexpensive and it was very comforty. I served it with simple masked potatoes. If I felt like greens a spinach salad would have been great too.

It is really important to use a fresh rosemary sprig instead of just dried rosemary because otherwise you feel like you are eating twigs.

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