Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Roasted Garlic Whipped Butternut Squash

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Roasted Garlic Whipped Butternut Squash


Served alongside easy roasted garlic whipped butternut squash, this Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is the ultimate fall comfort food meal!
  • 3–4 pounds boneless half pork butt roast, cut into 3–4 large pieces
  • 8–10 cloves garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons Simply Nature Grapeseed Oil
  • 1½ cups Nature’s Nectar Apple Cider
  • ½ cup Simply Nature Organic Chicken Broth
  • ¼ cup Simply Nature Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Burman’s Dijon Mustard
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • for the roasted garlic whipped butternut squash:
  • 1 small butternut squash (roughly 2 pounds), quartered lengthwise & deseeded
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Nature Grapeseed Oil
  • 2–3 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, cut into tablespoons
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, & cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Gather ingredients, prepping & measuring according to the Ingredients List, above.
  2. Stud the pork with garlic: Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut a few deep slits into each piece of pork shoulder, then insert sliced garlic into each pocket. Generously season the pork with 1 tablespoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired.
  3. Sear the pork: Add the grapeseed oil to a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pot with a lid over medium-high heat (I use a 4-qt Dutch oven). Once the oil is hot & shimmering, carefully add in the prepared pork. Work in batches, as needed, to avoid overcrowding the pot (which prevents browning). Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until deeply browned.
  4. Braise the cider pork: Add the apple cider, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, & Dijon mustard to a large liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisking to combine. Carefully pour the apple cider brining liquid into the pot with the pork. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot & transfer to the oven. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours, until the cider braised pork is fall-apart tender. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to shred the pork, remove the pot from the oven & stir in the sliced onion & apples. Cover & return to the oven for 20-25 minutes, just until the onions & apples are softened.
  5. Optional: Roast butternut squash & garlic: If preparing the whipped roasted garlic butternut squash, place the squash on a small sheet pan. Chop just the top off of the head of garlic, revealing its cloves. Lightly rub the garlic to loosen and remove any excess paper. Wrap the garlic in foil, lightly drizzling with oil & seasoning with a pinch kosher salt & ground black pepper before you seal the foil, completely encasing the garlic in foil. Set the foil-wrapped garlic on the sheet pan with the butternut squash. Transfer to the oven to bake alongside the apple cider braised pork for 2½ – 3 hours, or until the squash is very tender. (Note: The garlic will roast in about 45 minutes, so set a timer to remove from the oven at that point!)
  6. Optional: Whipped roasted garlic butternut squash: Once the squash is very tender, remove the sheet pan from the oven. Carefully scoop the squash into a food processor. Add in the roasted garlic cloves (the cloves should squeeze out of the head very easily) & butter. Run the food processor until the mixture is smooth & creamy. If needed, pour in a splash of chicken broth to loosen up the mixture as needed to reach desired consistency. Stir kosher salt & ground black pepper, to taste – I start with ½ teaspoon & go from there.
  7. Finish the cider braised pork: Once the pork is tender, remove the pot from the oven. Carefully transfer the pork to a plate or cutting board. Use tongs or 2 forks to shred the pork into bite-sized pieces. Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder in a white Dutch oven atop a creamy cement surface. Fresh thyme has been sprinkled on top and a few pieces rest on the cement surface. A white & blue striped linen napkin & a wooden pinch bowl filled with fresh herbs sits alongside.
  8. Serve: Spoon the whipped roasted garlic butternut squash over a plate. Top with cider braised pork, softened apples & onions, & braising jus as desired. Enjoy!

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