Braised Pork with Pears
This Braised Pork With Pears is simple with complex flavor. The braised pork is incredibly easy to prepare and doesn't require very much attention as it cooks in the oven. The pork is first seared on the stovetop in order to create a perfect crust. Onions, pear cider, pears, cloves, and cinnamon are added to give a robust flavor to the pork recipe.
After searing, the pork is cooked low and slow in the oven. Your kitchen will fill with the smell of fall as the pork gets more and more tender. The pork is finished cooking once a light touch with your fork start to break through the tender meat. A sauce is created from the braising liquid add poured over the top of the roast to ensure the recipe is packed with juicy flavors. This is a wonderful recipe to make if you have guests.
- 1 (3-pound) hunk of pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 medium sweet onion, large dice
- 3 USA Pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, large dice
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle pear hard cider
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. On the stovetop, warm a Swiss Diamond Nonstick Braiser or Dutch Oven over medium heat. While the pot is heating up, season your pork shoulder on all surfaces with the salt and pepper.
Add the butter to the heated pot. When the butter melts and begins to bubble, place the pork in the pan on one side and sear for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is medium brown. Once brown on one side, turn the pork to a second side and continue until the meat is nicely browned on the second side. Once all sides of the pork are seared, remove the pork from the pot with tongs and set aside on a plate.
Using the same pot, add the diced onions and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to caramelize. Add the cider and stir to loosen any seared bits of meat from the bottom of the pot. Return the pork to the pot, placing it right down into the center of the liquid with the fattiest side up. Be sure to pour in any juices that have accumulated on the plate, as well.
Next, add in the diced pears, cloves, and cinnamon sticks around the sides of the pot. Make sure the seasonings are nested down in the pot with the pears. Cover the pot and increase the heat to high, bringing the liquids to a strong simmer. Once the liquid has simmered, carefully transfer the covered pot to your preheated oven.
Braise the pork and pears for three hours in the oven, checking on the pork each hour and spooning some of the liquid over the top each time. After three hours, remove the pot from the oven.
Carefully remove the pork from the sauce and place into a serving dish. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium-high heat and simmer, uncovered, to reduce the sauce to about two cups. Pour the warm sauce over the hunks of pork shoulder and serve immediately.
For more information about pear varieties, flavor characteristics, and recipes visit www.usapears.org.