Pull out your dutch oven for this tender and flavorful Tuscan inspired braised pork! This savory and filling meal is comfort food at its best!
Making this Tuscan braised pork
This Tuscan braised pork is slow roasted to perfection. Rich and sensuous in flavor from the Tuscan inspired marinate, you won’t regret making it for a holiday meal!
One of my favorite things about making a dish like this is the fact that you can use relatively inexpensive cuts of meat (like pork shoulder) and still get a delicious, tender meat that falls apart when you eat it.
The key to the tender, so-juicy-it-melts-in-your-mouth quality in this recipe, in my opinion, is in the marination time. The longer you marinate your pork shoulder, the more tender your roast will be! When I make this braised pork, I usually let it marinate from 2-3 days in my fridge before cooking it. Don’t forget to turn the pieces of pork every so often, so the flavors get distributed evenly.
A dutch oven is preferable for cooking this meal. However, a large, heavy-duty skillet with a cover should work in a pinch, too. When you’re ready to cook your pork, heat up your skillet on medium-high heat and sear both sides of each of your pork shoulder. Then add the solids (i.e. the garlic, and onion and anything else that hasn’t fallen apart) and cook them until the onion is soft and translucent.
Then add your liquid (marinade and chicken stock), and get ready to smell amazing scents in your kitchen for the next 2-2½ hours! When you can pull apart the braised pork easily, you know it’s ready to eat!
Keep it gluten-free!
Polenta is an awesome gluten-free option for starch to eat with your braised pork. However, you can also make quinoa, rice, or even cauliflower rice, which is a great low carb option!
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as Chianti
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 - 3½ lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2 or 3 large pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 14.5-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, diced and undrained
- 1 - 2 cups chicken broth, preferably organic
- (Optional) Fresh parsley, chopped
1. Add wine, red onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, crushed fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes to a large glass or other non-reactive bowl and stir to combine.
2. Add pork chunks to bowl and turn until each piece is
covered. Cover and place bowl in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Turn pork occasionally while marinating to evenly distribute flavors.
3. To prepare, remove bowl from refrigerator and remove
pork pieces from marinade. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
4. Separate the marinade liquid from the solids and reserve
both, discarding the woody herb stems and bay leaves. Set aside.
5. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-duty skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the marinated pork and sear until evenly browned on all sides, approximately 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
6. Add the solids from the marinade and cook until onions
are soft and translucent, approximately 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Add liquid from marinade to skillet and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced to approximately one third of its original volume.
8. Add tomatoes and 1 cup chicken broth and stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 to 2½ hours, stirring every half hour or so. Add more chicken broth, if needed, while cooking.
9. When pork can be pulled apart easily with a fork, remove from heat and let rest in warm juices for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately over a bed of creamy polenta and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
For best results, marinate the pork 1-3 days in advance. To save time, the pork can be marinated at room temperature for up to 2 hours before cooking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2482Total Fat: 175gSaturated Fat: 63gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 96gCholesterol: 716mgSodium: 907mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 187g