Cider Braised Pulled Pork Roast with Onions and Apples
- 1 bone-in pork shoulder (3-4 pounds)
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 2 tsps Kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 4 tbsps olive oil (divided)
- 2 lbs yellow onions, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 cups Dutton Estate Hard Apple Cider
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with cotton string (for easy retrieval)
- 2 tbsps brandy (apple if you have it), optional
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Pat pork dry. Using a small sharp knife, make deep slits and fully insert garlic slices all over meat. Salt and pepper generously. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large heavy oven proof pot over moderately high until hot but not smoking. Brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally, until well browned, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, for added flavor, coat meat with a little olive oil and perform this step on the grill over medium heat). Remove pork and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain fat from pot and wipe with paper towels. Add remaining oil to pan and lower heat to medium. Add onions and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 12 minutes. Add brandy and stir one minute more. Add apple slices, cider, mustard and thyme bundle and bring to a boil. Add pork and cover pot with a tight fitting lid. Move pot to the middle rack of the oven and braise until very tender, about 3 hours. (Alternatively, transfer all to a slow cooker and cook on low about 5 to 6 hours).
Remove pork and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, pull apart with forks. Discard thyme stem bundle from pot and bring cooking juice mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 3 or 4 minutes to reduce by about 1/3. Add lemon juice. Cool for at least 15 minutes and then process in blender or food processor until smooth. Combine with meat and reheat to serve.
Serve over mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or mix of both, over noodles, or in rolls as a sandwich.