Beer and Balsamic Braised Pork Cavatappi
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup diced or shredded carrots
- 3 pieces bacon
- 4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (3 pounds without the bone), cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 bottle wheat beer
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 pounds cavatappi
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
Adapted from popsugar.com
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a small food processor, pulse onion, garlic and carrots until it creates a paste.
In a dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp over a medium heat. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Remove all the bacon fat except for 2 tablespoons, reserve the rest. Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat. Working in two batches (if necessary) brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Turn the heat down to medium. Add veggies into the same pot, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, reduce for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add beer. Transfer meat back to the pot and cover with chicken stock.
Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 to 4 hours or until meat is fork-tender.
When pork is done cooking, remove from oven and shred with two forks. If the sauce is loose, put it back on the burner and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened.
Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. It should taste like sea water. Add in cavatappi. Cook until just under al dente. Drain, but reserve a cup of cooking liquid.
Pour cavatappi into pork sauce and toss with noodles over a low heat. The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce. If needed, add pasta water to loosen up sauce. Add parmesan at the last minute, mix together.
Garnish with extra parmesan cheese.