It has been a while since I have posted a recipe, and I have to tell you it is because I have been busy having a lot of fun. This past month I returned from France, spent a week in San Diego with my family, and in any and all of my spare time have been cooking up a storm. The only problem? I haven’t been stopping to take photos, which means no blog post. I made a batter-fried chicken recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that was pretty great (so great that it was inhaled before pictures could be snapped), and a lot of other things that were just too good to wait and eat and so didn’t get photographed. (sigh)
This recipe suffered the same fate (there is no picture of the final product after it cooks), but at least I captured some of the journey. I have to say that this is the best pork I have ever had. Who knew pork and quince were such a perfect marriage? The fruit, which has such a lovely fragrance, perfumes the meat and so every bite is heaven. I have made this before without the quince and just used apples in their place, but I promise you the quince knocks this out of the park. I found fresh quince at my local market in Seattle, and it is really worth the trouble to find. Here is what it looks like:
When I came back from Normandy last month, all I wanted was apples and cider and things that reminded me of Norman fall. I love to use cider to braise pork, and this recipe is just a riff on one that I make every year with Washington apples when they are at their freshest. Serve with mashed potatoes and a good Norman hard cider, and this is the perfect Autumnal meal.
Slow-roasted Pork with Apple Cider and Quince
Adapted from Gourment
4-lb pork shoulder
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 large apple
2 medium quince
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups unfiltered apple cider
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to plate.
Add onions to pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add the fresh thyme.
While the onions are carmelizing, peel and slice the apples and quince into 1/2-inch slices.
Return pork to pot with sliced fruit and onions, and add enough cider to cover pork about 2/3 of the way. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Transfer pork to a serving dish with the aid of tongs and carving fork. Boil cooking juices with onions until mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, 2 to 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and serve with pork. Can also be made in the crock pot by following the same steps and adjusting the cooking time.