Spiced Apple-Braised Pork Shoulder
Apple and pork is a classic combination. Here, the fruit’s sweetness is balanced by the warm spices—ginger, mustard, cayenne, and black pepper—in the spice rub. For best flavor, season the pork at least a day ahead.
For the spice rub
1 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
4 tsp. kosher salt
2-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/3- to 3-1/2-lb. bone-in pork shoulder roast
For the braise
2 medium apples, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
Season the pork
Toast the coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, rolling the seeds around in the pan to prevent scorching, until they are fragrant. Cool briefly, then grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Combine the coriander, salt, ginger, mustard, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.
Using a sharp paring knife, trace the fat seams of the roast and around the bone to make a series of deep incisions on both sides, without completely separating the muscles. Score any external fat with a series of incisions 1 inch apart.
Coat the meat all over with the rub, massaging it between the muscles and on all sides of the roast.
Put the meat in a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet that fits it snugly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
Braise the pork
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours before cooking.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 300°F. Uncover the pork, and add the apples and onion. Combine the vinegar and honey with 1 cup water, and pour over the roast. Cover tightly and cook until the meat is fork-tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Leaving the liquid and apples in the pot, transfer the meat to a rimmed baking sheet to cool slightly. Separate the meat into large chunks, and remove and discard all the fat.
Skim the fat from the broth. Return the meat to the pot, and arrange the pieces in a single layer. (The dish can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. Reheat at 300°F, covered, for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.) Raise the oven temperature to 425°F. Cook the pork, uncovered, flipping once, until the exposed surface is nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Serve with the apples and sauce, and season to taste with salt.