My braised pork shoulder is a savory, rustic pork dish filled with lots of earthy flavor and an abundance of rich, flavorful sauce. Prepared with chunks of seasoned pork shoulder, braised until fork tender in a delicious combination of beer and chicken stock, along with some baby potatoes, plus a lots of peppers, onions and tomatoes, this zesty braised pork shoulder recipe is ultra comforting!
A Rich and Saucy Way to Prepare Pork Shoulder
When an extra comfy-cozy recipe is what I crave, I'll often turn to a rustic braise filled with the aromatic ingredients of an abundantly rich sauce.
Pork shoulder is a favorite (and inexpensive) cut of meat to prepare in this delectable way. It has a lovely marbling of fat throughout that melts into the braise as the meat gently cooks, which yields a wonderfully tender and savory end result after a couple of hours of gently bubbling away.
One of my most beloved flavor profiles when it comes to braised pork shoulder is one filled with spices, plus lots of peppers and onions for added texture and zip.
I also love to add a touch of mild "hoppy" flavor to the sauce, and achieve this by including good beer along with some chicken stock.
With the addition of buttery baby potatoes added in for heartiness, this mouthwatering, zesty braised pork shoulder recipe is the epitome of slow-cooked comfort food, perfect to get cozied up with!
My Recipe for Braised Pork Shoulder with Peppers, Onions and Potatoes
Because pork shoulder is considered to be a tougher cut of meat, it benefits greatly from a “low and slow” cooking process, such as braising, to really bring out its flavor, richness, and tenderness.
In addition to the pork shoulder, which slowly and gently tenderizes in the sauce over time, one can add in a few other ingredients to create a heartier, more stew-like texture, culminating in a meal that sticks to the ribs and warms the belly thoroughly.
For this, I opt for either teeny potatoes or baby potatoes (red or yellow), plus some mildly spicy peppers, juicy tomatoes, and earthy onions.
Here'e a glance at my braised pork shoulder recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I like to start with a whole piece of pork shoulder, and cut that into medium-large chunks myself.
- Next, I season the pork shoulder pieces liberally with smoky spices, and brown the pork in the pot to create added caramelization, color and flavor.
- When the pork is nicely browned, I add in the combination of aromatics, followed by the peppers, onions, and then deglaze with beer.
- I then add some chicken stock, followed by my quartered tomatoes and potatoes.
- Next, I gently braise in the oven for roughly 2 ½ hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
- When done, I serve the pork shoulder just as it is with corn or flour tortillas, or perhaps with some hot, fluffy rice, plus a flourish of fresh cilantro over top.
Braised Pork Shoulder
by Ingrid Beer
This braised pork shoulder is rich and earthy, prepared with peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and a splash of beer!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 718 calories per serving (braise only)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 ¼ to 2 ½ pound pork shoulder (boneless, preferably), cut into medium-large size chunks
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, and sliced
- 2 Anaheim peppers (or milder banana peppers), seeds and membrane removed, and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 cup beer (I used Modelo Especial)
- 1 ¾ cup chicken stock
- 8 ounces baby yellow potatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 pound Campari tomatoes (about 8), quartered
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Prepare your spice mix: add the smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander and chipotle powder to a small ramekin, and mix to combine.
- Add the pork shoulder pieces to a larger bowl, and sprinkle over them half of the spice mixture, along with a couple of generous pinches of salt and black pepper, plus the 2 tablespoons of flour, and toss to coat the meat well.
- Place a large Dutch oven, stew pot, or braising pan or pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3 to 4 tablespoons worth of olive oil or avocado oil. Once hot, add the seasoned pork shoulder pieces into the hot oil (work in a couple of batches if too crowded) and sear/brown the meat for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until a deep golden-brown on the outside. Remove the pork shoulder from the pot and set aside.
- Next, add to the pot the onions and sliced peppers, along with a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and saute for a few moments until they begin to soften. Then, sprinkle the remainder of the spice mix, along with the garlic, and stir to incorporate.
- Cook for about 30 seconds or so, just until the spices and garlic are aromatic. Then, pour in your beer and allow things to bubble up and simmer for about 1 minute or so.
- Add in the chicken stock, followed by the potatoes and tomatoes, and add back to the pot the browned pork shoulder pieces and accumulated juices.
- Bring things to a vigorous simmer, then place the pork shoulder into the oven to braise for 2 ½ hours, or until fork tender.
- Once tender, stir in the chopped cilantro and parsley, and check the seasoning level to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed.
- Serve the braised pork shoulder spooned into a bowl just as is with flour or corn tortillas, or spoon it over hot rice, with lots of extra sauce, garnished with extra cilantro.
Tips & Tidbits for my Braised Pork Shoulder Recipe:
- Choose a 2 to 2 ½ pound pork shoulder: I like to use a larger chunk of pork shoulder and cut it into pieces myself, and will typically choose a boneless pork shoulder—if there is a bone, simply cut around it. The pork should have a nice amount of marbling throughout, but if there is too thick of a layer of fat on the outside, feel free to trim some of that away.
- Peppers of your choice: Because I like this braise a little on the spicy side, I opt for a couple of Anaheim peppers, along with a green bell pepper. You can substitute banana peppers or a more mild pepper, if you wish. You could even mix things up by adding a red bell pepper for added sweetness (with no added heat), or use a couple of jalapeños to kick the spice level up a notch.
- Mexican lager, or your favorite beer: I like to use Mexican lager for this recipe, but feel free to use your own favorite beer to cook with. Just be sure to opt for a beer that's not too bitter nor too bright, but balanced to compliment the savoriness of the braise.
Hungry for more comfy-cozy recipes? Check out this Braised Beef with Mixed Mushrooms, these Braised Chicken Thighs, this Braised Oxtail, this Harissa Chicken, or these Smothered Pork Chops in Savory Pan Sauce!
Should the pork be covered while cooking in the oven? Thanks!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Eileen, good question! Typically, when I braise, I do cover my pot. But this recipe contains a good amount of liquid, so you do not have to cover. It will also become a little more caramelized this way. 😉
Hope you enjoy!
Thanks! One more question... Is this recipe better the day it's cooked or improved by making it the day before? If the latter, how would you recommend reheating it? Thanks again!
The Cozy Apron
Another terrific question, Eileen! In my opinion, soups, stews and braises always taste better a day or two after they've been prepared. So do feel free to make it prior to when you plan on serving, for deeper flavor. And you can simply gently reheat in the same pot you cooked it in, on low heat, until warmed through.
Loved this. Amazing!
The Cozy Apron
Kevin, thanks so much for letting me know. Thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Anyone tried this recipe in a crock pot?
What about cooking it in a slow cooker? It’s easier when I have to leave for the day if that’s an option
The Cozy Apron
Hi Jaymi, you absolutely can. Perfect cut of meat for a long, slow cooking process. I think it'll translate just fine! 🙂
Hi Ingrid, I have been involved in food and beverage for a long time, 40 years +, as kitchen manager and FOH, all concepts from side table flambeé to fast food.
As you probably know people in the food industry have the worst eating habits , Being from México City, fine dining capital of Latin America, I’m impressed with your recipe for the Dutch Oven braised pork shoulder with lots of things, can’t wait for it to be ready.
My respect, I already like it before I taste it!! Gracias 🙏
The Cozy Apron
Michael, thank you so very much for your comment! I am honored to have your thoughts on the recipe, and I do hope that you thoroughly enjoy it and that it lives up to expectations. 🙂
Happy cooking to you!