Every now and again there’s a bunch of pork in the house. Then stuff needs to be made from it or it goes bad. (Bad pork, bad, bad pork!)
Sometimes, we even work at making it go bad. If you make things go bad in the right way, bad is really tasty. That’s where half of the pork went: chorizo. (You’re going to have to wait for that as it’s still curing.)
In the meantime, you get pulled pork. But not the pulled pork you would expect in the summer. No grills or smoke are in use. It’s been rainy and cold here – so I just braised it in the oven. (Although, you could easily braise on a grill.) But in an effort to try to pretend that it’s summer, I decided to play with one of my favorite sauces for pork made from equal parts of vinegar, yellow mustard and brown sugar. To work the sweet/tang taste, I braised braised in beer and mustard. Yummy. A bit of a taste of summer even if there’s no proof of it outside.
Pulled Pork Braised in Beer & Mustard
4lbs (more or less) pork shoulder
2 c heavier sweet(ish) beer, like a wheat beer or amber ale
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 1/2 c broth
1 t thyme
3 T mustard, good quality on the sweet/hot side
2 T brandy
salt & pepper
Heat oven to 275°f.
Heat a bit of olive oil over high heat until it’s shimmery. Pat pork dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat with flour. Transfer to pan and cook until bottom is dark caramel brown. Turn and cook each side in turn until they’re all browned. Transfer to a dish, pour off excess fat from the pan – leaving about 2T. Turn heat down to low. Add in onion and carrots, cook until tender. Add in beer. Simmer until beer is reduced by more than half, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Add in broth, 2T of the mustard and thyme. Return pork to the pan, cover and stick in the oven.
Braise for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. It’s done when it pulls apart easily. Transfer meat to a cutting board. In the braising liquid, skim off fat if there’s a lot of it. And if the onions and carrots are still chunky, you can blend them in an immersion blender or strain them out. Return the braising liquid to the stove and reduce it under medium-high heat. While the liquid is reducing, pull pork apart with a couple of forks.
When the braising liquid has reduced enough for your liking reduce the heat to low, salt to taste, add in brandy and last T of mustard. Add the pork back into the braising liquid, cover tightly and simmer for 5 – 10 mins. Turn of heat and let rest for 15 mins or so.
Serve on sandwich rolls or with mashed potatoes &