How to Braise Pork

Jupiterimages/ Images

Braising is a culinary method in which meat is seared and then slow-cooked in a simmering liquid. The technique tenderizes the meat and retains its natural juices, while flavoring it. You can create gravy from the liquid in which the meat cooks. Braising pork requires minimal attention after it is placed in the oven, allowing you to attend to side dishes or entertaining. Braise cuts of pork that contain fat, such as the pork shoulder and pork butt for moist and more flavorful meat.

Place the pork on a cutting board. Cut vertical lines and horizontal lines on the pork to create a cross-hatch pattern with a serrated knife. This process of scoring the meat allows it to marinate faster. Season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper.

Grease the bottom of a braising pan with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Place the braising pan on the stove top and heat the olive oil on high heat. Do not allow the olive oil to smoke.

Reduce the heat to medium. Place the pork in the braising pan. Flip and sear each side of the pork for about four minutes until charred. The char on the exterior of the pork locks in the interior juices of the meat.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the pork aside on a platter to prepare the braising vegetables and liquid. Wash and chop vegetables, such as onions, carrots, celery and garlic.

Put the vegetables in the braising pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, until browned and softened. Stir in braising liquid, such as white wine, vegetable or chicken stock or apple cider, depending on the flavor you desire.

Turn off the stove top heat. Place the pork in the center of the pan surrounded by the vegetables and liquid. Cover the pan with its lid or tin foil.

Put the braising pan on a middle rack in the oven, braising it for about three hours until the pork is tender and falling off the bone. Flip the pork with tongs halfway through the cooking time to allow even cooking on all sides.