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Rach makes a hard cider-braised pork shoulder that's as ideal for a make-ahead meal as it is for leftovers on a bun with pickled onions. 

"During the holiday season, I love making slow braised meats because they're foolproof and very comforting," Rach says. "Cooking low and slow virtually guarantees a tender, juicy piece of meat. And what I love about this delicious braised pork is how much it reminds me of another fave from my childhood, my mom's cider beef. Both dishes are sweet and savory and finished with a tangy twist of crème fraiche. Serve with mashed potatoes and parsnips, or with wide egg noodles tossed with butter, dill and parsley."   

For a complete holiday feast, check out Rach's recipes for Garlicky Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips, Cran-Apple Sauce, and Green Beans and Shallots.  

From Rachael Ray In Season, Winter 2021.


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (3 to 4 pounds), trimmed and cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • About ¼ cup (combined) fresh sage and thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf  
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, optional
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Two 12-ounce bottles hard cider
  • ¾ cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
  • Garlicky Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives 


Serves: 6 to 8


Preheat oven to 300˚F.

Bring the pork to room temperature and pat dry with paper towels; season liberally all over with salt. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer the pork to a platter or a baking sheet.

Add the onions, herbs, bay leaf, and juniper berries, if using, to the Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring often, until it evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in the Worcestershire and cider.

Add the pork back to the pot. Cover and braise until the meat is fork-tender, about 2½ hours. Transfer the pork to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Put the Dutch oven back on the stovetop and bring the juices to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the juices are reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraiche, add the pork to the sauce, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf. Serve the pork on top of the Garlicky Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips. Top with the chives.