Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder
- 1 (3 pound) pork shoulder roast, cut into 3- or 4-inch chunks Kosher salt to generously season pork
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, torn
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle hard apple cider
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 pieces each
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Creme fraiche for garnish
- Chopped fresh chives for garnish
Generously salt all sides of the pork shoulder chunks. Heat oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Brown pork shoulder pieces until surface is seared and crusty, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Transfer browned pork to a plate. Add onions to oil and reduce heat to medium and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook and stir about 2 minutes. Add torn sage leaves; cook until onions soften and begin to brown, stirring frequently. Pour cider into pot; stir to deglaze bottom. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in cider vinegar. Reduce heat to low.
Transfer pork shoulder pieces to cider mixture. Cover; simmer gently on low 1 hour. Remove lid and turn pieces over. Cover; simmer on low until meat is fork tender, 1 to 2 more hours. Transfer pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
Raise heat to high and bring sauce to a simmer. Whisk in creme fraiche. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half and is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in a pinch of cayenne. Transfer pork back to pot; reduce heat to low. Baste pork with sauce while it heats through and becomes perfectly tender, and the sauce is as thick as you want it, about 15 more minutes.