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Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
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Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

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This Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is an easy one-pot dinner recipe that is so cozy and perfect for the fall months. Tender pork cooked low and slow in a bath of fresh apple cider, onions, apples, and fresh herbs. Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is fall-apart tender and packed with all the flavor.

There’s just something about a cozy braised meat served over mashed potatoes that is so perfect for fall. Truly, braised pork or beef over mashed potatoes is my number 1 favorite meal ever. This is such a delightful and delicious seasonal recipe that I know you’ll turn to again and again.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder: Autumn Comfort Food

I’m a firm believer that autumn is the best time of year, especially as someone who loves food. After all, it’s pretty hard to beat gorgeous fall produce & richly cozy comfort food!

There’s just something about the weather getting cooler and breaking out sweaters that makes me want all the comfy foods. This is the time of year that I dive deep into hearty soups and braised meat dinners.

The slowly simmered apple cider braised pork shoulder is fall-apart tender, taking on sweet tanginess from the apple cider braising liquid. Plus, it’s a pretty all-purpose recipe!

You can use the pork to make the most epic fall sandwiches, sliders, or grilled cheeses for a tailgate or game day. Or you can spoon it over egg noodles/spaetzle or mashed potatoes for the ultimate cozy fall dinner.

The contrast between the savory pork and the apples and fresh herbs makes for an incredibly flavorful and delicious dinner.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Easy – This is not an involved recipe! A bit of chopping, mixing, simmering, and then the oven does most of the work. It’s a bit of up front work while being mostly hands-off leaving you free to work on other things!

Budget friendly – Pork Shoulder is an affordable cut of meat that can easily feed a crowd! This dinner feels impressive while still being low effort and low cost.

One Pot – I love an easy dinner that all comes together in one pot! All the searing, sautéing, and braising is one in one dutch oven or braiser that goes straight from stovetop to oven. No muss, no fuss!

The Coziest Dinner – There’s just something about braising when the weather is chilly and looking forward to a warm stew-like dinner. This is honestly my favorite dinner to enjoy this time of year. Just load me up with all the Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder over mashed potatoes and I’m one happy gal.

What is Braising?

Braising is a combination cooking technique that features both wet and dry heat. First, you sear the pork shoulder in the pan for flavor and color and then you add liquid to the pot and transfer the covered pot to the oven. In the oven, the pork cooks slowly at a lower temperature.

The resulting meat is exceedingly tender. Braising is particularly effective for tough cuts of meat (brisket, chuck, pork shoulder, etc). Cooking tough meats low and slow in liquid allows the muscle tissue and collagen to slowly break down.

Any liquid can be used to braise, but the apple cider really adds that extra depth of flavor and that fall-flavor goodness!

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

How to Make Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

This recipe is not at all complicated to make and only requires a handful of ingredients! I do recommend investing in a large dutch oven, like the one linked below. All my braises happen in large braisers or dutch ovens!

Tools Needed

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pork Shoulder. Also referred to as Pork butt or Boston but. Opt for high-quality pork. Boneless or bone-in, it’s up to you!
  • Apple cider. Fresh apple cider is seasonal, fresh pressed, unfiltered, and unpasteurized. It’s bright and fresh and pairs perfectly with the pork. Look for it in the refrigerated produce section.
  • Apples. Pick firm, and slightly tart apples so that the dish doesn’t get too sweet. Honey crisp and pink lady are my favorites!
  • Onion. I love red onion here, but you could swap in any onion.
  • Chicken stock. Chicken stock helps cut some of the sweetness of the apple cider. Homemade is always best, but store bought is fine too.
  • Dijon mustard. Dijon is the absolute best with pork and really bolsters the braising liquid with flavor.
  • Garlic. You’re going to use a whole head here and just cut off the top of the garlic opposite the root. You’ll end up with rich roasted garlic flavor that we’ll squeeze into the liquid.
  • Spices. I love a little dehydrated onion here to really drive the savory flavor home.
  • Herbs. Rosemary and thyme give all the fall flavors here.

The Process

  1. Cube your pork. You want the pieces to be at least 4 inch pieces. If you’re going bone-in pork, cut the pork into 2 large pieces, working around the bone.
  2. Season everything. Pat your pork really dry (helps with browning). These are thick pieces of pork so season all sides really well with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the pork. This is a crucial step! Sear the pork really well on all sides until deeply golden brown.
  4. Add the cider and stock. Whisk together the apple cider, chicken stock, dijon, and dehydrated onion in a measuring cup until smooth. Pour the liquid over the pork. Add the herbs tied in a bundle into the pot. Cover and place in the oven.
  5. Oven time! Braise for about 3 hours, flipping the pork halfway through, until the pork is almost fork-tender. Remove from the oven and add the apples and onion slices, arranging them around the pork. Return the pot to the oven for 45 min – 1 hour, until the pork is tender. Let the pork rest in the juices for 30 minutes before serving.

Boneless vs Bone-In

Obviously, pork shoulder can be found both boneless and bone-in. So which best for Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder?

Bone – in. I am personally ALWAYS pro bone-in pork shoulder. As the pork slowly cooks, the marrow, collagen, and gelatin in the bones slowly breaks down and makes the sauce extra rich and flavorful. There is a noticeable difference in the texture and thickness of the sauce.

That being said, there are a couple of drawbacks. Bone-in meat cooks more slowly since you can’t cut it into small pieces, so prepare for that. I used bone-in pork shoulder and was only able to cut the meat in two.

Boneless. Boneless pork shoulder is always a great choice, too! Because you can cut it into smaller pieces, it cooks more quickly and a bit more evenly. If time is a constraint for you, boneless is the way to go. That being said, you sacrifice a lot of flavor that the bone gives by going boneless.

Either way, you’ll have a delicious dinner on your hand! Choose whichever option works best for you.

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

In the event that you have leftovers, Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is easy to store and freeze!

To store Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder: Let the pork and liquid cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for 4-6 days in the fridge.

Freezing cider pork: You can very easily freeze cider braised pork! Let the pork and liquid cool to room temperature and then store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Try to press most of the air out of the bag while sealing, this helps prevent freezer burn. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

Reheating: Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is best reheated in a skillet or dutch oven. Add the pork and liquid to a dutch oven or skillet, adding a little extra broth or water as needed. Cover and simmer on low until the pork is tender and warmed through.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

Slow Cooker & Pressure Cooker Instructions

I love taking my time braising in the oven, but that’s not always feasible with time constraints. Here are some other methods for cooking up Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder. That being said, you lost a significant amount of flavor by not making this in the oven.

Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker – Follow the recipe as written, using the saute function on your instant pot. Let the pan get nice and hot before searing the pork using the ‘high’ setting for saute. Add the broth mixture, garlic, and herbs to the pot. Set the Instant Pot to ‘pressure cook’ for 60 minutes, with natural release. After the lid has released, add the onions and apples and set to ‘pressure cook’ on high for 5 minutes using a quick release.

Slow Cooker – Use another pan or pot to sear the pork before adding it to the slow cooker. Seriously, don’t skip this step because it adds SO much flavor! Once the pork is seared, add it to the slow cooker and pour the braising liquid over the top. Add the onions, apples, and fresh herbs. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.

What to Serve with Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

If you’re throwing a dinner party or just want a nice dinner to enjoy, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder.

Leafy salad – I love starting a meal with a big leafy salad! My recipe for KALE CAESAR SALAD is one of my favorite salads ever and pairs so well with any braised meat. You’re going to love the homemade caesar dressing!

Mashed potatoes – Who doesn’t love piling tender pork and juices on a bed of mashed potatoes? If you want a classic version, try my CREME FRAICHE MASHED POTATOES. If you want to try something new, my CARAMELIZED ONION AND BACON MASHED POTATOES are a show stopper!

Dinner Rolls – I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for warm dinner rolls! I love sopping up any extra juices with a warm piece of bread. Try my foolproof FLUFFY DINNER ROLLS!

Dessert – No dinner party or gathering is complete without some dessert, am I right? Some of my favorite low effort/high reward desserts are my Apple Cider Donut CakeSKILLET APPLE CRISP, and TEXAS SHEET CAKE.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

Next time you’re in the mood for a cozy & comforting fall meal, try this Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder. It’s one of our fall favorites, and I know you will love it just as much as we do! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @jennygoycochea on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your SMF creations!

More Braising Recipes to Try Now

Coconut Milk Braised Chicken
Beer Braised Brisket
Beer Braised Carnitas

This post contains affiliate links from which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links allow me to keep providing great recipes for free and I never recommend products that I don’t love and personally own.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder - Ideas for Easter Dinner
Main Course

Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

This Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder is an easy one-pot dinner recipe that is so cozy and perfect for the fall months. Tender pork cooked low and slow in a bath of fresh apple cider, onions, apples, and fresh herbs.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Makes: 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lb pork shoulder roast or boston butt roast*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider* (not apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion
  • 1 head of garlic, top sliced off opposite of the root end
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 2 firm and slightly tart apples*, peeled and cut into wedges
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 325 F.
  • Start by trimming the pork of excess fat, if there are large fat caps. Cut the pork into 4 large pieces, or leave it whole if it's bone-in.
  • Pat the pork pieces dry with a paper towel and season liberally all over with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, arrange the pork in a single layer. Sear for 4-5 minutes per side until the pork is deeply browned. Repeat on all sides. Depending on the size of your dutch oven, you may need to do this in batches.
  • While the pork is searing, whisk together the cider, stock or broth, dijon, and dehydrated minced onion together and set aside. Use kitchen twine to tie the rosemary and thyme together in a small bundle.
  • Once the pork is browned all over, pour in the braising liquid. Arrange the herbs and garlic head in the pot with the pork, cover and place in the oven.
  • Braise for 3 hours or so (start checking at 2 and a half hours for boneless), flipping the pork halfway through. Once the pork is just shy of fork tender, remove the pork from the oven and arrange the onions and apples around the pork. Cover and return to the oven for another 30-45 minutes. The pork should be very tender at this point.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest in the braising liquid for 30 minutes before serving. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the husk into the broth or onto the pork. Season braising liquid to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the juices spooned over the pork, apples, and onions.

Notes

*for notes on whether to use boneless or bone-in pork, refer to the above blog post.
*If you notice that your pork is especially fatty, consider trimming some excess fat before searing.
* the best apples are firm, slightly-tart apples like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, etc. 

Please know that apple cider is NOT the same as apple cider vinegar–do not use vinegar in place of apple cider for this recipe. 

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  1. 4 stars
    This was my 1st recipe using my new Dutch oven. I’ve wanted one for soooo long and Santa Claus finally came through!!!

    My family raved about how tender the pork was and the flavor of the broth. I’m not a fan of recipes with rosemary as I thought it would overpower the other flavors. It definitely did not. The flavor of the broth was so luscious and complimented the pork very well. The pork was cooked to perfection and literally melts in your mouth.

    My only complaints are that I’m either VERY slow at preparing this recipe as stated because it took more time to finally get it to the table. It took closer to 4 hrs. I will also use a different variety for the apples. I used honeycrisps and the end result left them with little to no apple flavor. BEither way, the recipe is definitely a keeper

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! I enjoyed this recipe so much! I’ll definitely make it again. The pork is so tender it just shreds up on its own. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the apples in this recipe but that was surprisingly one of my favorite parts of this meal!

  3. 5 stars
    This turned out amazing! I got a Dutch oven for xmas and was excited to try a new recipe. My husband was RAVING all evening about how good it was, my 9mo boy was inhaling it basically and my 3.5yo girl said “mommy this is soooo yummy!”. So it’s great for the whole family. We have tons of leftovers too. I think next time I will use either bigger apples or more than 2 apples but other than that it was fantastic.

  4. 5 stars
    I don’t often leave comments on recipes, but felt the need to for this one! Typically we smoke pork butts, but on this cold, rainy day, I thought I would try the brazing method. The entire house smells so good. When it came time to open the lid. The bone slid right out of the roast. The meat is falling apart and is extremely tender and juicy. I used my fat separator to separate the fat from the broth, then poured the broth back over the meat. I’m freezing portions that we don’t need today in Ziploc baggies along with the juice. This made enough that I can send some back with my daughter in college. She and her boyfriend also loved it! I didn’t change a thing about the recipe and served with roasted potatoes and carrots. Thank you for the recipe it’s a new family favorite!

  5. 5 stars
    This meal was delicious! I’ve never cooked a pork butt that has tasted anything like this. I’m excited to use the frozen leftovers for sandwiches in the future.

  6. 5 stars
    Most of the time I am smoking a pork butt with various rubs. But braising meats can add so much flavor so I thought I’d try this. It was perfect! For those questioning a Dutch oven, its the only way to go for braising and making hearty soups. My only problem was I probably cooked it too long and the meat was too shredded. I jammed a 6 lb pork butt in the pan cut in 2 pieces and about 3 hrs it was done and I still needed to add apples/onion. Check periodically because it will still continue to cook after you remove from the oven. But a great recipe. Thanks.

  7. So excited to try this with my new instant pot! Can I use the instant pot on slow cooker mode? Also I’d like to maybe add carrots and potatoes to this recipe. Would I add them in when I add apples or before??

    • You can use the instant pot as a slow cooker for sure–I have notes on cooking times in the blog post. The carrots and potatoes will take a bit longer to cook than the apples/onions so I would add the potatoes and carrots at the 90 minute cooking mark. Hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner using turkey thighs instead of pork shoulder. Turned out amazing and was so delicious, everyone loved. Great way to put a spin on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

  9. Hi, what can i use instead of dehydrated minced onions? I couldn’t find them at grocery store, thanks Or can I leave them out? Thanks

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious! The meat was so tender and the flavourful. As my husband is not a fan of braised meals, we will have the leftovers as pulled pork sandwiches.

  11. I can not wait to try this recipe. I could only find a 9lb bone in pork butt. I’m assuming I can just cut it into pieces to make about 4lbs instead and save the other portion for something else (or a redo the following week) That should work, correct?? It also seems as though there’s quite a bit of fat to trim. Thank you for sharing such beautiful recipes.

  12. 5 stars
    Amazing! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. The people out there concerned about cook time… get over it! There’s a magical thing happening here.
    Follow the damn recipe and make the best pork shoulder you’ve ever had.

  13. I just made this recipe as a trial run for a murder mystery party I am hosting soon! I absolutely LOVED it! So delicious!
    My party is going to have 26 guests, so to have enough I’m probably going to have to triple the recipe. How would that change the cooking time? Would it need to stay in the oven for longer?
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It is seriously so amazing and tender! It fell RIGHT off the bone!

    • Holy cow, that’s a lot of people but that sounds so fun! Rather than trying to make it all at once, I would consider making a couple of batches of it separately (maybe 1.5 batch the day before and 1.5 day of). Otherwise, the pot would have to be enormous and I would plan to cook it for 4+ hours. Would love to hear how it turns out!

  14. 5 stars
    I am appalled to discover that I didn’t comment on this when I first made it because this is probably one of the best things I’ve EVER made. So easy and flavorful. And I made it with your creme fraiche mashed potatoes. I made it for the dinner where I introduced my boyfriend to my parents and everyone got seconds (my dad got thirds!) and ugh, it was so good. I’m a bit shocked that people would make the vinegar mistake. That amount of vinegar sounds truly disgusting and the fact that you have to put in so many notes when your recipe was perfectly clear to begin with is a bummer – wild internet criticism is so annoying.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Love being part of family celebrations and big family moments, such an honor. The internet truly is a wild place!

  15. 5 stars
    If all the other comments below haven’t convinced you to try this yet. I’m here to tell you to make this. ? I used this recipe on thanksgiving instead of Turkey and it was worth it!! So simple to make goes with every side dish perfectly. Cannot recommend more.

  16. I made this once and it was great. My only thought is I’d like the the sauce to be a bit thicker. Would it work to let the pork rest in say aluminum foil and then put the liquid on the stove to reduce uncovered? Potentially add a slurry to it?

  17. 5 stars
    The cider braised pork shoulder was fantastic. I made the recipe today with the creme fraiche potatoes, the best mashed potatoes I have ever made. The pork and the mashed potatoes was perfect together and we cant wait to enjoy the leftovers. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes !

  18. In your different ways to prepare this meal, I decided to use the slow cooker but in doing so I may have messed up. I read that you pile the apples and onions in all at once. Was this correct?

    • That’s correct, but even if you added at different intervals, that’ll still be okay. Just make sure the apples and onions are tender. You could alternately saute them a bit to soften them before adding if you forgot to add them.

  19. 5 stars
    Made this last night. So good. Used the oven method. Made the house smell wonderful. Whole family loved it and requested I put this on rotation until end of winter. We had it over mashed potatoes. Next time egg noodles. Thank you for the recipe

    • Hi, no unfortunately not. Tenderloin is lean and does not stand up well to long cooking. If you can’t find pork shoulder roast, pork butt is a great substitute, cheap, and readily available. Hope that helps!

  20. 5 stars
    Me and my husband cook a lot and know what good food is. I decided to make your recipe because it looked so delicious on the photo and I had a pork roast in the freezer needing to be cooked.
    I tried it and OMGosh!!! Soooo, good! I served it with your bacon and caramelized onion mashed potatoes and a homemade thyme focaccia. My husband says he has never had better of each of those dishes. Amazing.
    Now I’ll be browsing your website for more recipes. Thanks for sharing

  21. 5 stars
    Me and my husband cook a lot and know what good food is. I decided to make your recipe because it looked so delicious on the photo and I had a pork roast in the freezer needing to be cooked.
    I tried it and OMGosh!!! Soooo, good! I served it with your bacon and caramelized onion mashed potatoes and a homemade thyme focaccia. My husband says he has never had better of each of those dishes. Amazing.
    Now I’ll be browsing your website for more recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I accidentally bought the wrong cut of pork (not used to cooking pork… oops!) It is pork shoulder but thin sliced. I’m giving it a go because I don’t want to return to the store but wondering if I should cut down the cooking time in the oven? I’m thinking 2 hours rather than 3? Any advice? Thank you!

    • I would definitely cut down the cooking time. It may just be a ‘keep checking’ sort of thing until the pork is tender–that being said, I can’t guarantee results as I’ve never braised thinly sliced meats. Would love to hear how it turns out!

  23. I ended up with a 7 lb. pork roast for this recipe. How should I adjust the liquids & spices? I was thinking of adding another 1/2 recipe. Thanks in advance.

  24. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I can not wait to make this again. We all loved it. I used the broth the next night when I made rice. So flavorful!

  25. Hello I have been saving this recipe for so long and today I’m finally gonna make it, but yesterday at the sore o couldn’t find fresh herbs anywhere I only have fry ones will that make a huge difference? I’ve checked the ingredients and substitutes section but I didn’t see anything though I may have overlooked it

  26. Sadly, I missed the Louise drama when that happened but thanks to Darren M and his inimitable – and who would want to imitate it? – reading comprehension, this popped up on Reddit again. I’m glad it did; just put it on the menu plan for next week.

  27. 5 stars
    Only leaving 5 stars to make up for the people who don’t know how to read! I will be making this for my work potluck 🙂

  28. 5 stars
    I’ve got the in laws over this weekend and thought I’d experiment with this recipe after seeing it trending on reddit. Unfortunately 2 cups of apple cider vinegar costs about £5 and I could get 2l of old Rosie cider from waitrose for the same price. I substituted the vinegar for real cider and it tasted delicious. If anyone else wants to save some money I’d recommend using apple cider instead of vinegar. I also had a further 1.5l to drink too so that’s a win win. Amazing recipe. Thanks.

  29. Jenny this pork is delicious! Me and my husband both loved it and will be adding it to the meal plan regularly – thanks for taking the time to provide this recipe

    P.s. The only bitch here is you Louise!

  30. 5 stars
    Louise: I had some very not nice words to say to you after reading your foul review. But I’ll leave it as this. Know that you’ve ruined your own holiday because you could not be bothered to take 5 seconds to read an ingredients list!!! No one else is to blame but YOU; I know that stings!

    Jenny I’ve actually made your recipe in the past and my whole family loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. And I’m sure all your readers appreciate you always taking the time to answer their questions. Have a lovely holiday and best wishes.

  31. Sorry Louise lacks reading comprehension. Hopefully you’ll find more people to comment that have an IQ higher than the number of cups of broth that goes in this recipe, and less like her.

  32. Louise and her comment are being (rightfully) mocked on Reddit…double win for you, because not only does everyone agree that SHE is the total bitch, but more people are going to come and learn about your delicious recipes now!

  33. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Sorry that Louise was so rude to you. Some people can’t accept responsibility for their mistakes or poor reading comprehension. I appreciate your recipe being clear and concise (and delicious) without 10 paragraphs of personal stories.

  34. 5 stars
    Wow Louise, you are the talk of the internet now thanks to how obnoxious your “review” was. Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, but you don’t need to take it out on others.

  35. Since the apple cider causes such confusion I’d also like to note that the recipe says pork butt, so don’t go sticking your own ass into a heated Dutch oven.

    And ffr, if a recipe calls for “lemongrass”, it doesn’t mean toss a piece of citrus into your lawn mower bag. Oh and eggplant doesn’t mean a sunny side up with a side of leaves.

  36. I also made the apple cider vinegar mistake. So maybe you shouldn’t remove people’s reviews on this because you could have been more clear by writing beside it (NOT vinegar). And you want to ask me in what world using 2 cups of vinegar makes sense? In the world of someone who doesn’t know how to cook and is trying, so don’t be such a total bitch.

    • Sorry this happened to you Louise–I’ll add that note next to the ingredient. Name calling isn’t a flattering look–Have a happy thanksgiving!

  37. Ok so while this recipe is a great start; it super bland. I follow the recipe to the T and I quickly realized it’s missing a few components. First and foremost get rid of all the visible fat on the butt. Just the cap is NOT enough. Secondly double up on the salt and pepper for the meat before you sear it. Also, sear it extra because I didn’t and I regret it. For the braising sauce, lose a full cup of chicken broth and replace it with seasoning, onion, molasses and extra mustard. Before adding the apples and onions, take off the rosemary and thyme, turn the broiler on and cook that meat and sauce a bit.. carmalizing it. Once it’s to your liking add the sprig, onions and apples and cook for 30 minutes
    The first time I made it as suggested it was fatty and bland. The second time AMAZING! Also add more garlic,1 head is not enough. Hope this helps

    • I do believe you’re very much in the minority with your opinions, but to each their own. Happy you were able to adjust the recipe to your particular tastes.

  38. Hi!, my husband loves this roast so much , we are having it for thanksgiving this year. I’m going to use the crock pot. Could I add some veggies like carrots or green beans, along with the apples and onions? Thank you for these wonderful recipes.

    • Hi Nancy! So happy you enjoy it. You can definitely add some additional veggies in when you add the apples and onions. Carrots and green beans are a great choice.

  39. Hi! I saw you suggested keeping the 2.5 hours for a 3lb shoulder .. same deal if we’re going all the way up to 9lbs (bone-in!). Made your Bourguignon tonight (I had to cut myself off for fear of a tummy ache) and this is on the menu for this weekend’s Friendsgiving. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you and so happy to have found your blog!

    • Hi! I would start checking around 3-3 1/2 hours for the pork to start getting soft before you add the apples and onions. Don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer than the recipe dictates. Hope your Friendsgiving goes phenomenally! Thank you so much for your kind words, Violet!

  40. 5 stars
    Looks amazing! Would like to know if anyone had tried this recipe before with chicken or beef? We are not pork eaters :))

  41. 5 stars
    This recipe turns out so good every time. This time I pulled the meat and onions and apples and added a cornstarch slurry and served over mashed potatoes. So so so good. Definitely adding to my regular rotation!!

  42. Hi! Can this be made with pork chops instead of a roast? I already have the chops and would like to use them -thanks!

  43. Hi there! Currently making this dish now, my husband is wondering to what temp do we want it? When we smoke our pork we usually do around 200 but was wondering what you’d recommend?

    • Hi! Unlike smoking, braising has nothing to do with internal temperature and everything to do with time. Just follow the timing on the recipe and you’ll be good to go.

  44. Stop what you’re doing right now and make this! Seriously so good. I ordered my groceries for pick up and they only gave me a 3.5 lb boneless roast. I’m sad that I didn’t get a bigger one because I could eat this for days. I used extra apples to ease my sorrows and thickened the drippings with corn starch to make the most delicious apple cider gravy. Will add this to my winter meal rotation. Perfect for Sunday dinner. Always excited to try a new roast recipe different from the typical carrots, onions and potatoes.

  45. We got hand pressed fresh apple cider from our CSA farm and I wanted to use it in a way that really showed it off and your recipe was a winner. It was an investment in time but it smelled amazing while it cooked and tasted just as great on my fork. Most of the cider boiled off by the end (le Creuset Dutch oven) so I might add just a touch more next time to get some liquids for gravy. Served it with some sauteed Brussels, homemade bread, and mashed potatoes for a superb Sunday supper. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  46. It was 100% my fault for not reading the whole page, but maybe you SHOULD put the apple cider and apple cider VINEGAR warning at the top of the recipe so other people trying it, wont screw it up (groceries are not cheap in 2023). Luckily for me it still turned out good, but again it was my fault for assuming. Also, can you add a pressure cooker method for this recipe.

    • Adam,

      There’s literally an asterisk next to the apple cider in the recipe card which leads to the notes telling you not to use apple cider vinegar. I’m sorry that happened to you, but in what world does using 2 CUPS of vinegar in a recipe sound right? I removed your star rating as this was user error and not an issue with the recipe.

  47. Am I understanding this correctly? Braise for three hours, then add the apples and onions, cover and braise an additional 30 to 45 mins. Then rest 30 minutes. Can’t wait to try it!

    • I would check the pork after 2 1/2 hours. It should be close to tender when you add the apples and onions. You can increase the liquid if you’d like a bit more sauce at the end. Hope that helps!

    • Hi, you should definitely not have 2 cups of oil in the pan. The recipe starts with 2 tablespoons–you can drain the oil if you want, or you can leave it.

  48. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight. Cooked it in a pressure cooker. It was very delicious. Threw in some carrots with apples and onions. Will make again. Yummy!

  49. LOVE how this meat turns out! My only issues (and I’ve made it several times) is that the liquid is almost completely gone when it is finished cooking! This time I’ve added extra when I added the apples and onions. Fingers crossed it’s ok. Any tips on how to prevent all the liquid from cooking away? I have it in a oven safe pot (Dutch oven) with lid on the entire time.

    • You can always increase the amount of liquid, otherwise cover the pot with foil before putting the lid on to create a bit more of an airtight seal.

  50. Made this for my husbands birthday and everyone LOVED it including my very picky 5 1/2 year old granddaughter! She even wanted the leftovers the next night for dinner. Will be making this again and again!

  51. I don’t have a dutch oven but my slow cooker can be baked in the oven, however the lid cannot. Could I just cover with foil or would it be best to just slow cook it instead of oven roast it?

  52. 5 stars
    Amazing! Made to recipe (bone in) except the dried onion because I’m out – sautéed a shallot to add to cooking liquid. Served with red mashed potatoes with some of the garlic squeezed in. Next time will add one more apple, they were so yummy! Saving what’s left of this delicious, flavorful broth to add to pork chili. Thank you!

  53. Haven’t made this but it looks divine! Question: could I make this in a slower cooker instead? What would be the recommended temperature and cook time?

  54. Trying this recipe in my Ninja Possible Cooker Pro. Just started the braise function and it already smells amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  55. Whoa. I had high hopes for this based on all the reviews but I didn’t expect it to be so perfectly scrumptious.

    I followed the recipe as written until the step to add the apples and onions. My Dutch oven was pretty crowded (and my teenager would probably have objected to the apples with the meat). I added the onion slides but then sauteed apples on the stove in butter and a bit of sugar and cinnamon to serve on the side.

    I did skim some fat off the braising liquid and whisk in a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken ever so slightly but that was only because I had a bit of extra time at the end. It would have been great regardless.

    I honestly can’t believe how SPECTACULAR this dish is, and how easy it was to make. My family and our dinner guest all had multiple helpings and kept commenting about how much they enjoyed it. We will make this again, for certain!

  56. Hi! I’m so excited to try this recipe but my 4.5 quart Le Creuset is too small. I’m thinking of getting another LC dutch oven but can’t decide between 7.25 or 9 quart. Any advice? I’ve never braised before. Thanks!

    • Welcome to the braising clan, you’re going to love it here! Unless you regularly cook for a lot of people, I would go for the 7 quart! It’s a large one and great for recipes like this, pot roast, etc. My most used size is a 5.5 in addition to my 7 quart for reference. Hope that helps!

  57. Hello again. I previously asked about reheating the next day, and you did respond. Thank you.
    Amending my question: Can it be braised for the 3 hours, and then finished the next day?
    Also, if one is going to thicken the broth with the 3 Tbsp butter/ 2 1/2 Tbsp flour….should that be added after the meat is finished? (Remove meat, add the flour/butter, thicken, and return meat to rest.) TIA!

    • Hi! yes, you can definitely finish it the next day. And you’re absolutely correct with the beurre manie–remove the meat, onions, and apples after it’s rested in the juices then set the juices over medium heat to simmer and then stir in the flour/butter mixture and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Hope that helps!

  58. This turned out amazing! The meat itself had such a great flavor and was so tender. I did watch some YouTube videos so made a few adjustments. I took the pork out and reduced the liquid before reading it. I wanted more vegetables, so added carrots and green beans with the apples during the reduction. I just moved to high altitude and this ended up taking double the time to get the pork to fork tender.
    Will definitely make this again! Thanks for bringing my cooking into the autumn season.

    • Yes, but know that it is my least favorite method for cooking the pork as it doesn’t get the same depth of flavor as it does in the oven. That being said, instant pot directions are under the section titled ‘alternate cooking methods’ in the blog post.

  59. Hey! I made this for dinner the other night and it was wonderful! My husband said it’s even better than pot roast. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for what to do with all the leftovers. My store only had a massive 5lb roast and it’s just two of us, so I was curious if you had any creative ways to reinvent the leftovers. Thanks!! Definitely making this again.

    • Lauren, so happy you enjoyed the recipe! We love crisping up the leftover shredded pork in like a breakfast hash with potatoes, onions, peppers, etc. You could also toss the shredded pork with BBQ sauce and make pulled pork sandwiches, stir it into mac n cheese, etc. The potential is endless!

  60. 3 stars
    This recipe has potential…my main issue is that at some point, you need to separate out the fat. Pork shoulder is very fatty- even in this picture you can see little pools of fat. I think that before adding the apples and onions, I would remove the pork and use a separator. I also added a little flour to thicken a bit and removed the pork the last half an hour and let the apple and juices reduce with the cover off. But my main issue was how fatty the final dish was.

    • Meredith, you do have discretion when it comes to recipes. If you don’t like fattier pork, don’t use the fattiest cut of pork shoulder. Or just trim the excess! Also there are no “pools of fat” in the photo–those are apples.

  61. I can’t wait to try this recipe but I have a picky eater who won’t try this if they see apples. I’m planning to use carrots instead. Should I add them at the same time as the onions or do you think they may need more cook time since they are harder? Thanks in advance!

    • Carrots would be great! Totally up to you and your preference for texture on when to add them. An hour is definitely enough to cook them if you want the texture a little firmer, or you could start them from the beginning if you like a softer texture.

  62. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and the house smelled divinely autumnal! I kept true to the recipe and added a sprinkle of brown sugar. Husband had three helpings and I had seconds. Thank you for crafting such a delightful dish!

  63. 5 stars
    Made this tonite. No leftovers! (Except the liquid which I am certain I can use in something else!) Thank you!

  64. 5 stars
    This came out delicious! The pork was tender and incredibly flavorful. I especially appreciate how Jenny includes tips and suggestions with her recipes. Her style of writing makes restaurant quality recipes approachable for home cooks. I highly recommend trying this recipe!

  65. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night as a test run as I plan to serve this to friends at a gathering in November. The pork is super tender and flavorful. Can I double the braising liquid to end up with more juice at the end?

    • So happy you enjoyed it! I would do 1.5 times the liquid vs doubling it because you don’t want the pork to be completely submerged.

  66. I had cut them into thick chunks and they turned into applesauce. I may try different apples next time. Like a honeycrisp and not Granny Smith. All in all everything was still so delicious.

  67. The flavor is amazing. Followed the recipe exactly, but when I pulled it out of the oven the second time my apple slices had exploded. I used Granny Smith. What could have happened?

    • Hmm, I’ve never heard of that happening so I’m not really sure why! Do you just mean they dissolved? If that’s the case, the slices may have been too thin.

  68. I followed this recipe to a T. Used Granny Smith apples and 20 minutes after I put the apples in, most broke down and disintegrate. Not sure why I had this issue?!

    • My guess is you sliced the apples a bit too thin. I cut mine into thick wedges and haven’t had a problem with them breaking down. Hope that helps and hope the recipe was still delicious!

  69. 5 stars
    I’ve had pinterest for 10+ years and I’m not sure I’ve ever made a comment but this was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. Wow!!

  70. Hi- Really looking forward to making this. Asked husband to p/u a pork shoulder and he arrived with a NINE pounder. Would you increase any ingredient amounts? Figure I’ll need to up the cooking time. Thank you!

  71. 5 stars
    So, this was incredible. I made it exactly as the recipe said, no real changes. Just added a few more herbs since they were available in the garden. I used no salt stock, which worked well. We were wishing for more apples since they were so good. An easy addition for next time.

  72. With regards to the garlic, did you roast them prior and squeezed afterwards, or did you cook the garlic inside the braise? If you cooked the garlic inside the braise, did you leave the skin of the garlic on sans the top that was cut off?

  73. 5 stars
    Made this today with a boneless 3.5 lb pork shoulder just as written and it was killer! Served with mash red potatoes and broccoli with garlic and lemon verbena. Will definitely make again and for guest too.
    Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe.

  74. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe! I had lamb shoulder on hand and used that instead of pork. So easy to make and so delicious!

  75. If preparing the day before would you do everything and then the onion/apple step the following day before pork?

    • I would cook the pork til tender, remove from the oven, add the apples and onions and let it cool to room temp before storing. Then cover it and put it back in the oven in a dutch oven and rewarm it–this isn’t strictly necessary but it’ll keep the texture of the apples and onions a bit better.

  76. Hi! So excited to try this, it sounds like the perfect way to kick off fall 🙂

    My piece of pork is 1.5 lbs (due to our budget)- any suggestions on how to adjust the time?

  77. I have this in the oven and it smells amazing! Quick question though. When I turned the meat the sauce looks broken. Is this common? Maybe the mustard? Thanks! Can’t wait to eat it!

    • It is most likely bits of mustard that didn’t get whisked in all the way. Since there’s no cream or milk in the sauce, there’s nothing to break. I recommend stirring well after the pork comes out. You could also whisk in a bit of flour and simmer the sauce to make it more gravy-like in consistency. Hope that helps!

  78. 5 stars
    Okay. I have never commented on a recipe in all my years, but I just had to rave. Honestly, hands-down best rump roast I’ve ever had. Yes, rump roast. ‘Cause I had no idea what else to do with it, I followed this recipe exactly and I’ll never do a different roast recipe ever. EVER. Out of this world flavor. I think it’s the mustard. MVP. Y’all should SMELL my house.

  79. 5 stars
    This is freaking DELICIOUS. Just tasted a little nibble when I took it out to add the onion and apples and had to immediately come write this review to tell y’all how good this is. And super super easy to make. There is a reason it has 156 5-star reviews. Can’t wait for dinner!

  80. 5 stars
    Excuse me madam! Is this witchcraft? How dare you submit a recipe this good. It should be illegal. All kidding aside, I have been begging for a Dutch oven for more than 10 years and on Monday just decided to buy the d@&$ thing myself. And what happens? This is the first recipe I make. I had tears it was so good. Followed the recipe exactly (made adjustments to time because I know my personal oven runs a little warmer) and it was to die for. Putting this on Sunday dinner rotation indefinitely! Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe.

  81. Either the time or temperature is completely incorrect. Two hours in, I intend to flip the pork and add the rest of the ingredients as instructed, and the pork was already at an internal temp of 190. Read: shoe leather. Had I gone the whole 3+ hours, I think I would be able to achieve similar results simply by using a volcano.

    • Or, consider that meat needs TIME to become tender. The internal temperature doesn’t matter when you’re braising, this isn’t smoking. Braising allows the collagen and fat in the meat to break down and become tender. Clearly you should have read the instructions and given it time before firing off. 150 5-star reviews tell me that your issue is clearly user error.

  82. Hi Jenny,
    I’m halving the recipe and got a 2.6lb piece of boneless pork shoulder. How long would you recommend braising for?
    Thanks!

    • Start checking at about 2 hours to add the onions/apples. Even though it’s a smaller piece, since you’re still keeping it large it’ll still take a similar amount of time. Hope that helps!

    • No, unfortunately these are usually spiced and have too much sugar. I go over some possible substitutes in the blog post if you can’t find fresh apple cider.

    • Hi! On the recipe card I put 6-8 servings, but that is really dependent on how large your piece of pork is, what else you’re serving with it, and how much each individual guest eats. It’s a rough estimate–hope that helps!

  83. 5 stars
    This was amazing, oh my goodness. Next time I’m going to skip the apples just because they weren’t really needed and brown the pork on low-medium, my oil was getting burnt:/ my insta pot worked just fine, I only missed the smell of the food in my kitchen!!

    • So happy you enjoyed! However, searing really needs to happen at a higher heat so I recommend using an oil with a high smoke point like canola, refined avocado, ghee, sunflower oil, etc. Hope that helps!

    • Hi! Essentially, yes. You want to cut the top of the head off (opposite the root end) just to expose the cloves. Then they’ll cook low and slow with the pork and you’ll have slow-roasted garlic by the end that you can squeeze out of the paper husk and into the broth. Hope that helps!

  84. Hi! I don’t have a Dutch oven or braiser…could I just use an oven safe pot and cover with foil? I’d rather do the oven method than the other methods mentioned. It sounds soo delicious! Thanks!

    • Yes! Just make sure to check the liquid levels every so often in case it evaporates more quickly due to only being topped with foil. Add more broth and cider as needed to keep the pork about halfway submerged. Hope that helps!

    • Because the pork is cooked in liquid, there wouldn’t be much point to that unless you wanted to lightly smoke the pork for flavor, before braising.

  85. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday for Sunday dinner and the entire family loved it! I thought the flavors were rich and just complex enough (though I couldn’t find onion pieces and subbed onion powder) and exactly right for September. I served over mashed potatoes as suggested and a little steamed broccoli on the side. We will definitely make this one again! Thank you!

  86. 5 stars
    Perfect fall dinner, made with a boneless pork shoulder and served with the bacon caramelized onion mashed potatoes, followed both recipes exactly and will absolutely make this again

    • Totally hear you! I would go with short ribs or a nicely marbled beef chuck roast (prime if you can get it!). The apple cider flavor won’t be as strong as it competes with the beef, but it will still be delicious. I would consider skipping the apple pieces as well.

  87. Made this in the crockpot following the instructions. The house smelled wonderful, but the pork didn’t have as much flavor as I was expecting – it was also quite dry. Such a bummer. I think I’ll try it again and cook it for a shorter period of time.

    • Hi Theresa,

      It’s possible to make this in the crockpot but it’s my least favorite method. Pork can be easily overcooked if left for too long–I recommend giving the recipe a try in the oven, as written, for better results. Also, because the pork pieces are large, be liberal with the salt and pepper on the pork. I hope that helps your next attempt!

  88. Could this be made the day before and reheated? I might want to take dinner somewhere but not spend hours there for it to cook. TIA! ?

    • Chelsea,

      You could definitely do chicken! I would recommend bone-in, skin on chicken leg quarters. I would do less liquid and you should only need to braise for about an hour to 90 minutes—hope that helps!

  89. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS!!! I used boneless pork since it was all the local store had, but it was amazing! The pork was fall apart tender and super juicy. Served over mashed potatoes. Yum yum yum!

  90. I’m super excited to make this once the temperature goes down a touch. Question about the garlic. It seems we are roasting it, do we roast it in the pan? When do we add the roasted garlic to the sauce?

    • Hi Natashia!

      You cut the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed and then it goes in with the pork as it braises. Once the pork is done, you can squeeze the cloves out over the pork, or you can even add them to some mashed potatoes for extra flavor. Totally up to you! Hope that helps.

  91. I’m wanting to try this recipe as it looks delicious. I just have a few questions – I don’t have dehydrated onion, can you sub with onion powder and if so how much? Also do you take the herb bundle out when you add the apple and red onion or does it stay until then end?

    For serving, do you shred the pork up or leave it in the 2 large chunks? I’m not sure how best to serve this to guests.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lisa!

      You can use onion powder, I would say 1 1/2 tsp. I leave the herb bundle all the way to the end. How you serve it is up to you! Once the meat is tender, I break the two chunks into smaller, but still whole pieces and serve over mashed potatoes. You can also shred it into big shreds and serve that way. Hope that helps!

  92. 5 stars
    So yummy! Used unfiltered, fresh pressed apple juice in lieu of cider and turned out so delicious. I’ll add more apple next time 🙂

  93. Hi, when you say apple cider, do you mean apple juice? In Europe cider is the alcoholic stuff, and yes, it gets used in dishes like this too

    • All the information regarding the use of apple cider is in the blog post. Apple cider, in the US, is an unfiltered, fresh pressed apple juice without added sugar. It’s generally seasonal in the fall so in its absence, you can definitely use an alcoholic cider. Just be sure to pick one that’s dry and not too sweet. Hope that helps!

  94. Love this recipe but the sauce made by Cooks Country looks like it was great, chicken broth, cornstarch, apple butter, wow what a sauce to serve with it

    • Hi Paige!

      You could use pork loin in theory, but it just doesn’t have the same fat content as shoulder and so I fear that it’ll end up dry and stringy. You could definitely give it a shot and if you do, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  95. Can you make this in a crock pot? If so, do you have any instructions for this recipe? Thank You ~ Genell

  96. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely amazing! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing!

  97. This recipe sounds amazing! I’m making this tonight for dinner in my Instant Pot. Do I pressure cook on high for 60 minutes? Or on low?

  98. 5 stars
    Have someone who won’t eat pork (why you ask ? ????? very fussy eater) – think throwing in a chicken breast with everything else would work ? Plan on browning meat first then into slow cooker.

  99. 5 stars
    I made this a few nights ago, followed the recipe and tips to the T, it was a HUGE hit!! My husband raved….it’s definitely going into the regular rotation!

  100. 5 stars
    So I stumbled upon this recipe (in March, in Texas, while it’s been 75 degrees) but I’m a winter girl through & through so I just had to try this. Holy Moly, I’m so glad we did! The flavors are so vibrant and compliment one another throughout the whole dish. Definitely adding to our fall/winter rotation. ?

  101. 5 stars
    So fantastic! I’m slowly learning how to cook things other than pasta and eggs and I think I nailed it. Easy to follow the instructions and so delicious!

  102. 5 stars
    This was insanely delicious! Ultimate flavor and comfort. My foodie friends loved it as well. Will keep this recipe on hand for sure

  103. 5 stars
    Amazing! Used a bone-in pork shoulder and cooked in a Dutch oven according to directions. So good and easy!

  104. I’ve read the recipe over many times and still come up with 4.5 hours cooking and rest time unless you mean that 2.5-3 hours is the total cook time, INCLUDING the onions/apples.

    • The rest time is not included in the cook time. And the total braising time is anywhere from 3-3.75 hours depending on the size of the pork. The braise times are a suggestion as everyone’s oven behaves differently. The goal is simply to have tender pork and that may take a little more time or a little less than what I’ve suggested. Hope that helps!

  105. Can I sub the red onion with yellow onions? Since the yellow have a stronger flavor I was wondering. I don’t want to alter the tart with a stronger flavored onion. Cooking tonight for tomorrow’s dinner. Looking forward to it.

    • Hi Kelli!

      Yes you can sub any onion. Also you can always reference the “ingredients and substitutions” section of the blog post and I answer all ingredients related questions there. 🙂

  106. Hi, can I sub the apple cider with apple juice? Or do you have a preferred subs for the cider? Here where I live I can only get apple cider vinegar and apple juice. Thanks!

    • Hi Chris!

      My recommendation would be to try and get fresh pressed apple juice (or juice apples with skin if you have a juicer!). Otherwise, look for unsweetened apple juice or a shelf stable apple cider like the honey crisp cider from Trader Joe’s. Hope that helps!

  107. 5 stars
    We made this last night for the 1st time and it was so easy and delicious! Could only find boneless pork and it tasted divine. We served with cheesy grits.
    Will definitely be making again and again. Thanks!

  108. This is a must!! Also, so easy a caveman could do it. I’ve been happily eating pulled pork with everything this week.

  109. 5 stars
    This was so freaking good! Perfect for the first actual cold weather we’ve had this season. The apples and onions were such a great add in to the pork!