Braised Pork Shoulder Recipe
Is there anything cozier than a braise? As the leaves fall and temperatures drop, the oven becomes the go-to source for casual and formal dinners alike. It gently heats the home, doing all the labor for a delectable meal while you enjoy time with loved ones or curl up in a warm blanket. Even if the weather outside is frightful, a good meal can make every day of winter amiable and inviting. This braised pork shoulder is no exception, making the most of your Dutch oven and warming you from the inside out.
Braising is a method of slow cooking that gently simmers meat or vegetables in a few inches of liquid at a low temperature over a long period of time. Braising can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on the vegetables or cut of meat. While there is some prep work involved, this braised pork shoulder is largely hands off. After seasoning and searing the meat, the only work required is a simple temperature check after about 3 hours in the oven. The result is always impressive, and the work nearly effortless. Slow cookers, such as crock pots, will do in a pinch, but the flavor developed through the dry heat in the oven is unmatched. The meat becomes caramelized, tender, and altogether irresistible.
Beyond the braising method, this recipe for braised pork shoulder uses an Italian technique of using milk as the braising liquid. Perhaps one of the most underrated braising methods, milk produces an incredibly succulent, tender pork shoulder and a rich, savory gravy in a matter of a few hours. Traditionally called maiale al latte in Italian, there is a good reason it has been made across Northern Italy for decades.
This particular recipe pairs the pork shoulder and milk braise (maiale al latte) with fragrant fennel, sweet onions, and punchy garlic. During the braise, the vegetables become buttery tender. Together, this braised pork recipe is the definition of comfort food—it is succulent and inviting, celebrating chilly days and warming the palettes of loved ones at the table.