I’ve got a really simple dinner recipe for you today. Braised pork shoulder with a rich sauce that pairs really well with a side of steamed rice. This my friends is the definition of comfort food to me.
This recipe would work great with a different cut of pork too, you don’t have to use pork shoulder only. I’m often using pork collar (neck), pork roast, pork loin or even pork belly. Just a small tip, you will get the best results with a cut that contains at least some fat as these benefit from the braising cooking method the most. So even though you could use something lean like pork tenderloin, the shoulder or pork butt simply works better.
As any dish that contains a lot of sauce, braised pork shoulder reheats very well which makes it the perfect recipe when you need to cook ahead for several days. To put it simply, this is one of those perfect and simple home style cooking recipes that you definitely want to try 🙂
Braised Pork Shoulder Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are very common as you can see on the photo. We will also need some salt, black pepper and about a cup of beef or chicken stock to make sure the sauce has a rich and deep flavor.
Full list of ingredients is below.
1.5kg / 3 pounds of pork shoulder
1 large onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
1 cup of chicken or beef stock
Fresh herbs of choice, I’ve used rosemary
Salt to taste (approx. 1 teaspoon)
Pepper to taste (approx. 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon of red paprika
2 tablespoon of flour (all purpose)
1 tablespoon of butter
How To Cook Braised Pork Shoulder
Watch the video or scroll down for step by step instructions:
Start by cutting the pork shoulder into larger pieces. These should be about 1 and a half inch big. For this recipe, I’m using about 3 pounds or 1 and a half kilo of meat, which will serve about 5 people.
Place the meat into a bowl and proceed by seasoning it. We will need a touch of olive oil and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. I’m also adding 2 tablespoons of flour. This will thicken up our sauce later on. Mix it all up properly to make sure every last bit of our pork shoulder is nicely seasoned.
Now grab a large and deep pan or skillet and heat up some oil. I’m using olive oil for this braised pork shoulder recipe, but feel free to use your favorite vegetable oil or even pork lard.
Brown the pork from both sides now, it should take about 3 minutes per side. We are not trying to cook the meat fully at this step, just give it some color and then flip.
You will need to do this in two or three batches as you don’t want to crowd the pan too much. If you put too much meat into the pan it will steam and not brown, which is not what we want. Once browned, take the meat of the pan and move to the next step.
TIP: If you need to save some time, you could skip this “browning” step and your braised pork shoulder would still taste great. But the browning process (maillard reaction) simply makes the final result a bit better.
Add a tablespoon or two of butter into the same pan (without cleaning it) and let it melt.
Finely chop one large onion and 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and add them to the pan. Sauté on high for about 5 minutes. And while the onions are sautéing let’s cut 2 or 3 carrots into larger pieces, we will need them shortly.
Once the onions become slightly browned add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and roast it for 2 or 3 minutes.
2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce come in next. Mix them in and sauté for 2 more minutes. You can also add a tablespoon of red paprika for deeper color.
Add about half a cup of chicken or beef stock and it’s time to put the meat back into the pan, including all the possible drippings that are left in the bowl. Alternatively, you can use just water, but stock makes this braised pork shoulder taste better for sure.
Drop in the carrots and add some fresh herbs of choice, I went with rosemary but thyme would be perfect too. Mix all the ingredients together and if needed, add more stock. When braising meat, it should be almost fully submerged in the liquids so keep that in mind.
Cover the pan with a lid and braise on low until the meat becomes tender, this should take anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes. It’s a good idea to mix the contents every 30 minutes or so, just to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom and all parts cook evenly.
It’s time to give the sauce a taste. In most cases, you will have to add some more salt and black pepper as it’s pretty much impossible to hit the right amount on the first try.
The sauce should be nice and thick from the flour. If it’s not, you can either keep on cooking and reduce it down, or mix an extra teaspoon of flour with some water and add that to the pan.
Once you are happy with the taste of the sauce and the meat is fall-apart tender, our braised pork shoulder is finished and you can serve. Steamed rice is most likely the best side dish for this recipe, because of all the lovely sauce we have in the pan. But you could use some pasta or even mashed potatoes too.
Please let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments.
Some additional tips and Q&A’s:
- How long does braised pork shoulder stay good? When stored in the fridge, this dish will stay good for 2-3 days.
- How to reheat? Since this is a “saucy” dish, you can reheat directly in the pan or using a microwave, both would work great.
- Do you like spicy food? This is one of those recipes that literally ask for a bit of heat so feel free to add chili flakes or your favorite spicy sauce.
- Don’t want to use rice as the side dish? Mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, baked potatoes and most types of pasta are all great choices.
- Not a fan of carrots? No problem, you can cook braised pork without adding any vegetables at all.
More pork recipes to try:
- Pork stir fry with vegetables and noodles.
- Easy fried pork chops served with rice.
- Hearty and simple to make pork stew.
- Juicy pork loin steaks.
- Grilled pork tenderloin steaks with mushroom sauce.
Braised Pork Shoulder
- 1.5 kg of pork shoulder
- 1 large onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 carrots
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 cup of chicken or beef stock
- Fresh herbs of choice I’ve used rosemary
- Salt to taste approx. 1 teaspoon
- Pepper to taste approx. 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon of red paprika
- 2 tablespoon of flour all purpose
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Cut the pork shoulder into approx. 1.5 inch big pieces.
- Season with olive oil, salt, pepper and all purpose flour.
- Heat up some olive oil in a big deep pan or skillet and brown the pork shoulder pieces from both sides. 2-3 minutes per side is all we need. Once browned, set the meat aside.
- In the same pan, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter and add 1 large finely chopped onion and 4-5 chopped cloves of garlic. Saute on high for about 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and roast for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix well and sauté for 2 minutes. You can also add 1 teaspoon of red paprika for deeper color.
- Pour about ½ cup of chicken or beef stock into the pan and mix properly.
- Put the meat back into the pan now. Add some fresh herbs too (1-2 sprigs), I have used rosemary. Cut the carrots into pieces and add them to the pan too.
- If needed, add more stock now. The meat must be almost fully submerged in the liquids.
- Mix properly, cover the pan with a lid and braise on low for 60-90 minutes.
- Once the meat is tender, give the sauce a taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Keep braising until the meat becomes fall-apart tender and the sauce has thickened up.
- Serve the finished braised pork shoulder with rice, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or your favorite pasta.