Traditional recipes

Braised Pork

Braised Pork

The beauty of braised meat is that it’s virtually impossible to overcook. In the case of this aromatic pork recipe, a lack of attention to detail (as well as a lack of skill) are in fact rewarded with melt-off-the-bone meat. And with a 5-to-6-pound cut, you can freeze the leftovers or morph them into other meals all week long.

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Adapted from "Time for Dinner" by Pilar Guzmán, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang.


  • One 5-to-6-pound pork shoulder (a.k.a. picnic or Boston butt)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 lemons


Stab deep slits with a knife into the pork shoulder.

In a small food processor or on a cutting board, make a paste from the garlic, paprika, and 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil and smear it all over the pork, making sure some drips into the holes.

In a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, brown the pork in the remaining olive oil.

Add the orange and lemon juice (about a cup of liquid total) and cover.

Bring to a boil, then simmer until the internal temperature of the pork is 140 degrees, 1 ½ hours.

Two ways to turn leftovers into a new meal.


Into a medium-large pot, dump one 29-ounce can of hominy (such as Goya), drained; one 15-ounce can of chicken broth; one 16-ounce jar of tomatillo sauce; 1 head of romaine lettuce (shredded); and a large chunk of leftover pork. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat, then lower to medium for another 10 minutes, allowing the pork to fall apart in the soup. Serve with sliced radishes and a squeeze of lime.

Cuban Sandwiches

Layer leftover pork slices, dill pickles, a few slices of Swiss cheese, and a smear of spicy brown mustard onto sandwich baguettes. Wrap them in foil and place them on a heated skillet. Place a heavy pan (cast iron is ideal) loaded down with canned items on top of the foil. Press the sandwiches until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

If you don’t have Swiss, you can use Gruyère, provolone, or Muenster, too.

Braised pork belly- how to make it melt-in-the-mouth

Braised pork belly (红烧肉/hong shao rou/red cooked pork) is a well-known pork dishes prepared with a combination of ginger, garlic, and soy sauce and a myriad of aromatic spices and cook over an extended period.

The pork is cooked until the fat is gelatinized, and the meat attains the melt in the mouth texture. The braising liquid is cooked down to a sticky sauce, glazing the meat to add a glossy sheen. It is best to serve with leafy vegetables, steamed rice, or noodles, and the taste is heavenly.

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Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions, or click the Jump To Recipe button at the top of the page.

  • Pork loin – You can use pork shoulder (butt) or ribs as well.
  • Vegetable oil – Any mild flavored oil like olive, safflower, or sunflower will work.
  • Sesame oil – If you can find toasted sesame oil, buy it! The flavor is amazing.
  • Soy sauce – I like to use reduced sodium soy sauce. You can use regular if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Sugar – Brown sugar works as well, or you can use sugar alternatives or more viscous sugars like honey or agave instead.
  • Water
  • Chili garlic sauce – Also known as sambal oelek. You can use any type of hot sauce you like best sriracha or gochujang would be great as well.
  • Green onion – I like to have these as a nice and fresh garnish for the finished pork. The onion is optional, but I highly recommend using it!

Recipe Summary

  • 6 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (6 to 7 pounds), skin on (if making potatoes), room temperature
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 2 cups Belgian-style ale
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Crisp pancetta in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, until fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.

Add onions to Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate using slotted spoon.

Season pork with salt and pepper. Add oil to Dutch oven, and sear pork, fat side down, until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip, and repeat.

Add garlic and spices to pot. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ale, stock, pancetta, and onions bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven, and braise pork, covered, basting every hour, until meat is falling off the bone, about 4 hours. Shred meat (just what you're using) using 2 forks, and drizzle with warm skimmed jus.

Cuban Braised Pork Shoulder

&ldquoThis is a dish whose roots lie with my family, and it is a particular favorite of mine. It combines braising, my preferred cooking medium, with the bright flavors of the Caribbean. It reminds me of my rich cultural heritage.&rdquo


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), trimmed and tied
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • Zests of 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth


Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, make a paste by whisking together the garlic, oregano, parsley, scallions, citrus zests, cumin, and olive oil. Rub the paste all over the pork. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and place in a bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the onions in the bottom of a braising pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold the roast. Put the roast on top of the onions and add the chicken stock. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat reads between 155°F and 160° F.

Remove the roast from the pan and let it rest for about 15 minutes until it is cool enough to slice. Serve with the delicious pan juices and onions.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (2 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, with stems
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Rinse and dry pork roast. Season all sides with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast to the hot skillet turn and sear until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer roast to a large lidded baking dish, leaving pan drippings in the skillet.

Add carrots, onion, shallot, and garlic to the hot skillet and reduce heat to medium. Saute in the pan drippings until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes do not overcook.

Pour red wine, beef broth, and tomato puree over the roast in the baking dish. Add sauteed vegetables, parsley, and thyme.

Cover and bake in the preheated oven until meat pulls apart easily, 2 to 3 hours.

Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly

Thịt Kho Tàu is a salty-sweet dish of caramelized pork belly and marinated eggs. Hailing from South Vietnam (as evident by the use of coconut water in cooking), this flavorful dish is one of the most beloved amongst my friends (both Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike). Every family has their own take on the dish, and this is my interpretation.

Don&rsquot be intimidated by the long cooking time&mdashmost of it is letting it simmer on the stove so the pork belly can get nice and tender. Make the most of your efforts by cooking a large serving size because this dish works great as leftovers for a quick weekday meal.

In fact, its ability to keep for 4 to 5 days is why it&rsquos a popular Lunar New Year&rsquos (Tết) dish. Because no one wants to constantly be cooking while they&rsquore receiving a stream of visiting guests.

Brazilian Braised Pork

While a typical Brazilian pepper is the malagueta, I wanted a smokey flavor and opted for the guajillo here. If they are not available near you, some good substitutes are the Ancho pepper, the Pasilla and the Cascabel. On the Scoville scale, which measures the spicy heat of chili peppers, the malagueta ranges from 60,000 to 100,000 units. That is the middle range of hot chilis, think Tabasco pepper and Thai Bird’s-eye chile hot. You’re safe with the guajillo on the heat factor. Remember, it’s the combination of flavoring here that makes it.

Easy enough to shred and make tacos, roll inside enchiladas or stuff a fluffy ciabatta roll, this flavorful pork hits the mark for low level of effort needed and maximum flavor achieved.

I love to add frozen orange juice concentrate to slow roasting pork for the flavor and the caramelization that occurs while roasting. The browned, cubed pork develops a wonderful flavor and the result is a tender, juicy shredded pork. I accidentally grabbed a Passion Fruit and Orange Juice Cocktail Concentrate the other day, or it was in the wrong spot in the freezer section of my market, but this has to be a new house favorite. The passion fruit added that extra touch. The delicate flavor of the passion fruit doesn’t go unnoticed in the end result and the aroma is intoxicating.

Remove stems from dried guajillos and shake out excess seeds. Pour hot water over them to cover and allow to soak at least 30 minutes to an hour. Remove chiles from water and purée with garlic, jalapeño pepper, can of Passion Fruit and Orange Juice Cocktail Concentrate and 1/2 cup of water from soaking the peppers. Set aside.

Cube up the pork into 8 large chunks. Quarter each onion and quarter again for 16 pieces. Rub salt, oregano and cumin all over pork and place in an oiled 13࡯” roasting pan. Pour chile juice mixture over the pork and onions and slow roast for 4 hours. Remove bone if any and shred meat in pan.

Serve shredded and make tacos, roll inside enchiladas or stuff a fluffy ciabatta roll with a drizzle of Mexican Crema, a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro leaves.

Rachael Ray's Hard Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder

2. Bring the pork to room temperature and pat dry with paper towels season liberally all over with salt. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer the pork to a platter or baking sheet.

3. Add the onions, herbs, bay leaf, and juniper berries, if using, to the Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring often, until it evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in the Worcestershire and cider.

4. Add the pork back to the pot. Cover and braise until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer the pork to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

5. Put the Dutch oven back on the stovetop and bring the juices to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the juices are reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraîche, add the pork to the sauce, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf. Serve the pork on top of the Garlicky Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips. Top with the chives.

Serve with the mashed potatoes and parsnips, or with wide egg noodles tossed with butter, dill, and parsley.

Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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