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Slow braised at a low temperature and then roasted with apples and pear cider with plenty of herbs and spices – this Slow Braised Pork Roast with Spiced Pear and Apple Sauce is a moist, tender and an incredibly flavorful dinner, with less than 30 minutes of prep time!
I’m a big fan of Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork. I’ve used their products many times before – some of which also made it to the blog, like this five spice peach and pork skillet, baby back ribs, delicious tequila braised pork carnitas (seriously yum!) and our favorite Sri Lankan pork curry!
While I love using pork chops and pork belly cuts, I also always have great fun making flavorful pork roast for dinner and one of my favorite cuts for a pork roast is Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork Shoulder Picnic Cut. Knowing that it’s almost guaranteed to be a meal that Mr K would love, it’s also a very safe bet for me! With his birthday and the holidays just around the corner, I made one of his favorites earlier this week – Spiced Slow Braised Pork Shoulder Roast with Spiced Pear and Apple Sauce! Pork and apple sauce – that’s a classic combination, for a reason. This meal is all about that
This slow braised pork is braised at a low temperature and roasted with apples and pear cider with plenty of herbs and spices. This makes the pork incredibly flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. There’s only 30 minutes of active time and then your oven does the rest of the work. You can serve it with a simple side salad, or a plate of steamed or roasted vegetables (which can be roasted in the oven at the same time as the pork!).
If you like your pork medium rare, you should cook it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (followed by a three-minute rest). If you like your pork a little more done, cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
For this recipe however, it’s important to cook the pork until it reaches 170°F. Maintaining the pork at this temp. (with surrounding moisture) helps break down the fat and connective tissue, making the meat deliciously moist and “fall off the bone” tender. The pear cider, apples and milk in the braising liquid help the pork shoulder cut reach that perfect level of moistness, while the final roasting period caramelizes the meat from the outside while keeping it sliceable (and not mushy). The braising liquid also forms a beautiful gravy that complements the pork and any side that you may want to serve it with. It’s delicious over mashed potatoes and/or roasted vegetables.
One other thing that I’d like to briefly talk about today is Smithfield’s “Compassion for Community” mission, a campaign to celebrate local heroes. The idea is for you to nominate a hero in your life (someone who makes a difference in your community through compassion, care and commitment) by entering in the #SmithfieldCares Sweepstakes, for a chance for those local heroes to be recognized and appreciated with prizes worth over $9000! You can nominate your local hero in the sweepstakes just below the recipe.
Having lived in so many different places over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to come across heroes in my local community many times. People who dedicate their time and effort for others purely for that intangible joy it brings them to make someone else happy. No matter where I’ve lived, those heroes have always existed. Often times they’re in the shadows, but they’re there, and they restore my faith in humanity during times when it’s shaken to the core. Like that 90 year old lady I was lucky enough to meet in Lismore, Australia, who had been making daily trips to volunteer at local nursing homes for decades. Or like that man who suffered from kidney failure, but drove his vehicle around town every day to provide free transportation to seniors and anyone else who needed it. These people are heroes without even knowing they are. They change others’ lives with simple deeds that go unnoticed by everyone. They may be simple deeds, but they have inspired me to be the best I can be.
So if you know someone whose small deed made a big impact in your life and others, a true local hero in your community that deserves the recognition, go ahead and nominate them by entering in this campaign! 🙂
This slow braised pork roast is everything we love! 🙂 A little spicy, a little sweet, a little fruity. Plus, there were plenty of leftovers the next day, we made the best pork fried rice for lunch too!
If you can’t find pear cider, simply use apple cider or pear juice instead. I love the flavor of both fruits coming through in the gravy. If you use Pink Lady or Gala apples, they will add to the sweetness. If you use Granny Smith apples on the other hand, they will add a touch of sourness to the gravy.
I would definitely recommend investing in a meat thermometer, if you don’t already have one. It makes things a whole lot easier. It’s honestly the best kitchen gadget that I’ve got and I use it daily. It makes cooking roasts and steaks so much easier. It takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes for a 2.5 lb pork shoulder to reach an internal temp. of 180°F, but the exact time can vary with different ovens and different cuts of meat because of the thickness and amount of fat etc. The meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of it. Just leave it in the oven to roast and set the timer for the required internal temperature.
Having said that, this is also a very forgiving recipe too. I braise this cut for about an extra 45 minutes to let the fat melt away and make the pork beautifully moist. It’s a special occasion dinner for us, but without any of the work involved. PLUS, there’s only 1 dish involved (2 if you make roasted veggies as a side), so there’s very little clean-up afterwards too. You guys have no idea how much that means to me! 🙂 It’s an unbelievably flavorful dinner, for just 30 minutes of prep time. In the words of Michael Scott – that’s a win-win-win for all of us.
- 2.5lb of Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork Shoulder Picnic
- 1 cup pear cider
- ¼ cup cream
- 1 ½ tbsp horseradish
- 3 - 4 sprigs of rosemary
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 apples quartered (Honeycrisp or Gala)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 - 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.
- Pat dry the pork and place it in an oven-proof dish (that snugly fits the pork). Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork and then add the horseradish and cayenne pepper and rub it all over.
- Add the butter, apples, pear cider, cream, rosemary and garlic to the dish.
- Rub the brown sugar on top of the pork.
- Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. You can insert a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature too.
- Braise for 3 hours.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425°F and remove the foil. Let the surface of the pork caramelize (about 30 - 40 minutes).
- Remove from the oven. Carefully place the pork on a serving dish and cover with Foil.
- Mash the apples and garlic into the juices in the roasting dish (or alternatively blend the apples with the juices in the roasting dish).
- In a saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter. Add 3 tbsp of flour and cook the butter and flour for a few minutes to form a roux. Strain the apple/pear mix into the saucepan and whisk until the gravy thickens. Discard the pulp.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the slow braied pork with a side salad or roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.
- Easiest option - a simple side salad with your favorite vinaigrette.
- Steamed vegetables or mashed potatoes.
- Roasted vegetables - cut some carrots and potatoes (into 1.5 inch cubes) and toss them with some salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the vegetables on a foil or parchment paper lined tray. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 425°F (while you're roasting the pork - the vegetables will be ready by the time the gravy is prepared).
You can easily find Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork products at Walmart, in the refrigerated meats/pork section. Grab this Ibotta coupon so you can save $1 off Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork products and make this delicious Slow Braised Pork Roast for dinner!
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I’ll be sharing my recipe over at –