Italian Braised Pork

30 March 2018

Hey, it's me.. back with another recipe that I'm telling you to try and trust me and it's good... and stuff. 

We made this "Italian Braised Pork" on Wednesday of this week and it was really good! I'm not a huge pork lover but I'm good with it in this form AND fashion :)

This is a recipe from my Martha Stewart Slow Cooker cookbook. I did all the prep on Tuesday night, stuck the crockpot in the fridge, pulled it out when I woke up at 6AM and then set it to start cooking when I left the house at 7:15. My piece of meat was a little larger than the recipe called for so I figured it would be OK cooking for more than 8 hours. I work 9 hour days so I knew it would cook, at minimum, for 9 hours.

When I went to take the butt out to shred.. it completely fell apart. WOO HOO! I succeeded. The bone slid out, it was so tender!! But it makes a lot.. so make this for a crowd or plan to have leftovers. 

We served ours over polenta like the recipe suggested. We'll probably eat the leftovers with rice. Make sure you add plenty of salt. Ours could have used a little more. And don't forget the freshly grated parm! Yum! 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2½ pounds boneless pork shoulder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cup dry red wine
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Cooked polenta
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Preheat a 5-to 6-quart slow cooker.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to the slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion, garlic, celery, and fennel seeds to skillet; cook until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add wine. Cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker along with tomatoes. Cover and cook on high until pork is very tender, 4 hours (or on low for 8 hours).

Transfer pork to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Skim fat off sauce. Return shredded pork to slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve over polenta, sprinkled with cheese.

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