This hearty and flavorful yet cozy meal is sure you warm you up and fill your tummy. Balsamic braised pork is full of flavor and can be made in a Dutch oven or a crockpot.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy pork shoulder, you are in the right place. This recipe results in the most tender pork that is served in a balsamic rosemary gravy.
It is perfect over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Or load up a bun for a perfect sandwich experience.
You can braise the pork butt in a Dutch oven if you would like, or use a crockpot. Either way it will be luscious and your house will smell great.
Table of Contents
About the Recipe
Talk about a versatile meal, this braised pork is so full of flavor. It takes a while to make, but very little active time and the results are so worth it.
It makes a perfect comfort food meal, but the flavors are sophisticated enough to make it company worthy as well. Serve it over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice so there is something to help sop up the delicious sauce.
Or serve it on some nice bread for an upscale twist on a pulled pork sandwich. The cooking liquid is so full of flavor, you need a way to enjoy every last drop.
Pork butt or pork shoulder is a great cut of meat for low and slow cooking. That is why it is a favorite for smoking or braising.
Those longer cooking methods give the connective tissue and fat plenty of time to break down. That makes the meat so tender and sumptuous.
You can do a whole pork should if you would like. Just double the cooking liquid ingredients.
I usually just pick up a three to four pound pork shoulder roast from the store. Our grocery stores usually have them available and they are wrapped in a net which makes them easier to handle.
For maximum flavor, you are going to want to sear the outside of the roast before you braise it. Just heat up some oil in your Dutch oven or a large skillet.
When the skillet is good and hot, carefully place the pork in the pan and keep it there until it forms a nice golden brown crust. Then rotate the meat so that each side gets browned.
If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step and place the raw pork directly into the braising liquid. However, this step does add another layer of flavor.
The browning step does not cook the pork through, so now it is time to do that. So we will need to mix up the braising liquid.
It is a tasty mix of balsamic vinegar, honey, rosemary, and bay leaves. If you don’t have honey on hand, you can use maple syrup or brown sugar.
If you are using a Dutch oven, put it in a low oven and let it cook for several hours. Or just toss everything in your slow cooker.
Either way, you will have tender meat after several hours. Remove it from the pot for a minute so we can focus on the liquid.
You will want to remove some of the grease from the mix. If you want to skim it off the top you can, but I prefer to use a grease separator.
Stir in a little cornstarch slurry to thicken it up and you are ready to return the meat to the pot. You can either chop it up a bit or shred it with a couple of forks.
Once it is coated in that thickened sauce, you are ready to serve. And not a minute too soon, you are about to find out that it was worth the wait.
More Great Pork Shoulder Recipes to Try
If you like fun pulled pork variations, you may want to try apple cider pulled pork. It is a great slow cooker recipe that has a wonderful flavor profile of mustard and cider.
For a brighter variation, you may like Pacific pineapple pulled pork. It has flavors inspired by the islands like ginger, soy and of course pineapple!
If you aren’t so sure about the fruit in your pork, try hula pulled pork. It has a fun sauce made of sriracha, ginger and soy sauce.
With all of these great options, it is hard to know what to make first. Since you are here on the balsamic and rosemary, I’d go ahead and pick that on today. But be sure to put the others on your must make list as well!
Balsamic Braised Pork
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 3-4 pounds pork shoulder roast
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅔ cup honey
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- salt & pepper
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
Dutch Oven Instructions
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper generously over pork and brown pork on each side.
- Remove from heat. Pour vinegar and honey over pork. Add rosemary and bay leaves. Add 4 cups of water. Cover with lid and place in oven.
- Braise for 4-6 hours.
- Remove meat from braising liquid. If desired, skim the fat off the liquid.
- Over low heat, simmer liquid adding a slurry of a couple of tablespoons of water and corn starch. Bring to a simmer.
- Cut meat into chunks, removing any remaining chunks of fat and heat until warm.
- Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or on a bun.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season all sides of the pork roast with salt and pepper. When the oil is glistening, carefully place the pork into the pan. Brown each side of the roast. (You can skip the browning if you are inched for time, but it does add another layer of flavor.)
- Mix the vinegar, honey, rosemary, and bay leaves together in crockpot. Add a cup of water.
- Place pork loin into liquid in crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove meat from liquid. Remove the grease, bay leaves, and rosemary from the liquid.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir into braising liquid.
- Chop meat or shred with forks, removing any remaining fat. Return meat to pot and cook until the liquid starts to bubble and thicken.
- Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or on a bun.