- 1 3-pound pork shoulder/butt or 2 pieces 1 1/2 pounds each
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful
- 1 teaspoon each granulated onion and garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Olive oil, for liberal drizzling
- About 1/3 cup Calvados or apple brandy
- 1 large bub fennel, very thinly sliced
- 2 onions, very thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- A handful parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup cloudy cider
- 1 cup crisp, fruity white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, cut into 6 wedges each
- A few tablespoons Dijon mustard, to finish sauce
Rub shoulder with salt, pepper, fennel seed, cumin, granulated garlic and onion, thyme, citrus zest and a couple drizzles of olive oil. Wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower third of oven.
Heat Dutch oven over medium high heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the pork and brown evenly on all sides. Remove pork and deglaze the pan with Calvados then add fennel, onion, garlic and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Add cider, wine and stock then place pork on top. When liquid bubbles, cover and place in oven and braise for 3 1/2 hours.
Remove pork to platter and cover. Add apples to sauce and cover. Cook 8-10 minutes to tender-crisp and stir in Dijon. Shred or slice pork and combine with sauce.
Serve pork with apples in bed of polenta.