Caucasus-style Braised Pork Shoulder

From Gourmet magazine

Pork Shoulders are absolutely divine. Divided into the butt, or the slightly tougher picnic, both are amazing in recipes involving braising. If I wanted to really make someone weak in the knees, this recipe would do it. It takes a fair bit of advanced preparation but trust me, the results are well worth it.


  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat and skin discarded
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar


  1. Mince garlic, then mash to a paste with 2 teaspoons kosher salt using a heavy knife.
  2. Grind coriander and fenugreek seeds and red-pepper flakes to a powder in grinder, then stir together with garlic and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl.
  3. Make 2-inch-deep slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and push some of paste into slits. Rub remaining paste all over meat.
  4. Put pork in a bowl and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours. Make sure it’s at room temp before you continue.
  5. Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown pork on all sides, turning with tongs and a large kitchen fork, about 8 minutes total.
  7. Transfer pork to a large plate and cook onion in fat remaining in pot, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits, until beginning to brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
  8. Return pork to pot and add water and remaining teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly with lid and transfer to oven.
  9. Braise, turning meat once, until very tender, about 3 hours.
  10. Cool pork in pan juices completely, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours. (I think you can get away with less; once I chilled it about 3).
  11. Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  12. Remove fat from surface of pan juices and reheat pork (with pan juices), covered, in oven 1 hour.
  13. Transfer pork to a platter using cleaned tongs and large fork. Stir cilantro, vinegar, and table salt and pepper to taste into pan juices and serve with pork. Worth it!

Posted in Garlic, Pork, Shoulder Roast, Vegetables on Sunday, December 11th, 2016 at 3:59 pm.

Comments are closed.