Spiced Braised Pork Shoulder

Braising is a great way to slow cook tough cuts of meat. This moist-heat method allows the connective tissues in the meat to break down, resulting in a tender roast and thickened braising liquid. When you use your cast iron Dutch oven, you can sear and braise the meat in the same pot. Enjoy the finished product on everything from barbecue sandwiches to tacos.

Level

Intermediate

Prep time

24 hours

Cook time

3-4 hours

Serves

4-6

Cook it with our

Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

Ingredients

Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Braised Pork

  • 1, 3-4-pound pork shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle or can of lager beer (avoid hoppy beers like IPAs)

Gravy

  • All-purpose flour as needed
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Pour all the spice rub ingredients into a 1-gallon zip-top plastic bag, seal, and shake. Dry the pork shoulder with a paper towel and place it in the bag. Rub the dry ingredients into the meat until it is nearly all adhered to the meat, and all of the surfaces of the meat are covered. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Heat the oil in a 7 Quart Dutch Oven over medium-high heat until it sizzles. Brown all sides and edges of the pork shoulder. Pour in enough beer to cover the bottom of the pot — about ⅜ inch deep — no more! Bring the beer to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook until the meat shreds easily with a fork, 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove the meat from the pot and wrap in aluminum foil. Pour the liquid from the pot into a heat-proof measuring cup. Measure 1 tablespoon flour per cup of liquid and place in the Dutch oven. Over low heat, add the braising liquid very slowly to the pot, whisking thoroughly to eliminate lumps, until all the liquid is added and the gravy is smooth. Turn the heat to high and bring the gravy to a boil to thicken. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the vinegar and cilantro.
  5. Shred the meat using two forks and discard any fatty pieces. Mix the shredded meat with the sauce in the pot and serve.

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