Red Wine Braised Pork

Pork Braised with Red Wine

We have a French student living with us for a few months and I really wanted to impress her. Charlotte arrived last Sunday and I wanted to make something delicious but also something that would keep well overnight in case she was running a little bit late. I wanted something with French flavors and a lot of thyme in the form of a wonderful roast with a little baby arugula added to it.

Charlotte arrived a few hours late and this meal kept nicely while we waited. But then she tells me that she doesn’t eat salad. Well that was really bad news because I had prepared a terrific salad. All wasn’t lost, as I had no issues devouring her portion of the salad! Fortunately I also had some carrots with the roast, so she got some vegetables in. But the main course was definitely the roast.

This is something I plan on making again and again. It is a rich, savory and slightly sweet chunk of tender meat that is smooth as butter. This dish is not only complex and interesting, but it is a whole lot easier than it sounds, too.

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I recommend you give this recipe a go before the weather gets really warm. Envelope yourself in wonderful flavors and sink into its pure goodness, with love!

I served this with polenta squares, browned in a little olive oil and butter.

Red Wine Braised Pork

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs boneless pork butt
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil, divided
  • 5 Medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 3 Medium onions, halved lengthwise (root end left intact) and peeled
  • 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
  • 1 cup medium-bodied red wine (such as Pinot Noir)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
  • 30 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tart green apples cored and quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, peeled using a vegetable peeler

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork roast on a cutting board so the long end faces you and slice through the middle horizontally.
Open the roast like a book (it should still be attached at one side) and season with about half of the salt and pepper.
Close the roast and season the outside with the remaining salt and pepper, then use butcher’s twine to tie the roast at 1-inch intervals.
Heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the pork roast, browning it on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side (if it starts to get dark too fast, reduce the heat).
Use tongs to transfer the pork to a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot and set aside. Pour the fat from the skillet into a medium bowl (cool and discard).
Use tongs and paper towels to wipe out the skillet.
Pour the remaining oil into the wiped skillet.
Heat the oil over high heat until it smokes, 1½ to 2 minutes.
Add the carrots and place the onions and garlic halves cut-side down in the pan. After about 30 seconds, check the garlic and if nicely browned, remove from the pan and place on a plate.
Continue to cook the onions and carrots until the onions are very dark (and almost threatening to burn), about 1 minute longer.
Turn off the heat and cool the pan for 1 minute. Turn the heat to medium, pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and carefully pour the broth and vegetables over the pork in the Dutch oven.
Add the thyme, apple, rosemary, peppercorns and lemon-zest strips.

Cover the pot, place it in the oven and cook until a long-pronged fork can be inserted into the center and twisted without resistance, about 4 hours.

Remove from the oven and transfer the pork to a large platter. Let the meat cool for 15 to 20 minutes before using a fork to break the roast into chunks. Meanwhile, boil the braising liquid and skim off the fat. Pour the jus over the pork and serve.

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Serves 8 people.

Mary Frances writes about food in her blog LOVE – the secret ingredient.
© 2014 LOVE – the secret ingredient™