The Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder That Screams “Fall!”

If there were an ideal fall meal, it would include the following: apples, cider, caramelized onions, a one-pot meal. Well, look at that! It looks like we just described Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions and Apple Confit.

“What this pork dish lacks in beauty it makes up for generously in flavor,” Amanda and Merrill write in the recipe's headnote. This flavor takes very little work, too: Succulent pork shoulder is browned on the stovetop, then slid it into the oven where, over a couple of hours, it becomes tender and the vegetables soften, transforming into a sweet, rich stew imbued with onions, apples, cider, and Calvados. A hit of acid, in the form of mustard, is added to the apple confit right after it comes out of the oven—and right before everyone rushes to the table. A meal that screams "fall!", are we right?

What dish "screams" fall to you? Tell us in the comments below!

The Magical Mini Guide
 to Cozy Weekends
View Guide
The Magical Mini Guide
 to Cozy Weekends

Whether you're in the mood for some soup-simmering,
 leaf-peeping, or nothing at all, your dream weekend awaits...

View Guide

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Terri
  • Charlotte Burkholz
    Charlotte Burkholz
  • jessbair
  • Lisa
  • angela
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


Terri October 25, 2016
Would love to make this but can't have alcohol. How important is the brandy?
Jane September 30, 2017
SInce it is used for deglazing, you could substitute any liquid. Perhaps more apple cider or chicken stock? Or apple juice would probably work too.
Charlotte B. October 21, 2016
Is there another cut of meat that could be substituted?
jessbair October 21, 2016
This might sound insane, but would it alter the end result too terribly if I left out the onions? Or are they integral to the dish? I know, heresy! But my husband is very allergic to them and this sounds so good!
mizerychik October 26, 2016
Not specific to this recipe, but is he only allergic to onions, or can he have other alliums? If those are all out too, maybe some celery that has the strings removed before braising? Celery and apples are wonderful together, and it will probably add the right aromatic note. My other suggestion would be fennel bulb, which sweetens when cooked like onion.
Lisa October 21, 2016
Can you do this in a slow cooker? I would brown it in pan first and then transfer to cooker. How long would I cook it for?
Laura October 21, 2016
I bet you could do it in slow cooker. Def brown it first and maybe cut it down into smaller chunks before you brown it. Maybe 8 hrs on low?
Barb October 21, 2016
Google is your friend, Lisa. This is the first conversion site I found after a quick search:
angela October 21, 2016
could you say please what kind of apple cider you used ? was it hard cider? Thanks angela
Laura October 21, 2016
I just used fresh cider I bought at the farmers market. Worked great!
Laura October 21, 2016 is how it looked at the end...I also served ontop of cheesy corn grits!
Laura October 12, 2016
I just made something similar to this for my monthly supper club...I served it ontop of cheesy grits for the the ultimate comfort food.