Cider Braised Pork: A Comfort Food Classic


Cider braised pork is a succulent and flavorful dish made by slow-cooking pork in cider until it becomes tender and juicy. The combination of sweet cider and savory pork creates a unique taste that is sure to please any food lover.

This dish is perfect for a cozy night in and can be served with a variety of sides such as roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, or a simple side salad. The key to making the perfect cider braised pork is to use quality ingredients and to take your time while cooking. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner, this dish is easy to make and is sure to impress anyone who eats it.

Cider Braised Pork: A Comfort Food Classic


What Is Cider-Braised Pork?

Cider braised pork is a popular dish that offers tons of flavor and is sure to please any meat lover. This dish is made using slow-cooking techniques to infuse the pork with the delicious flavor of cider. But what exactly is cider-braised pork, and how is it prepared?

Cider-braised pork is a delicious and savory dish that features pork cooked using cider as a primary ingredient. The dish is slow-cooked, allowing the cider to permeate the meat and infuse it with incredible flavor and tenderness.

  • Cider-braised pork is typically made using boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, which are perfect for slow cooking.
  • The dish is cooked low and slow, usually in a dutch oven or a slow cooker, to allow the pork to become incredibly tender while absorbing the flavor of the cider.
  • The cider used for this recipe can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, giving you flexibility in how you want to prepare the dish.
  • The dish is often seasoned with aromatics like garlic, onions, and herbs to enhance its flavor further.
  • Cider-braised pork pairs well with a range of sides, including mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or even a fresh green salad for those who prefer lighter fare.

There you have it – the basics of cider-braised pork. This dish is perfect for those looking for a hearty and delicious meal that is satisfying and flavorful. With a little bit of patience and the right ingredients, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your friends and family.


Pork Shoulder

Cider braised pork is one of the easiest and most flavorful dishes that you can make! One of the key ingredients is pork shoulder.

  • Pork shoulder is the ideal cut of meat for slow-cooking.
  • It is a well-marbled and fatty cut of meat that will become melt-in-your-mouth tender when cooked low and slow.
  • Pork shoulder is also known as pork butt or boston butt. Don’t let the name “butt” throw you off! This cut is actually from the upper part of the shoulder.
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Apple Cider

One of the star ingredients of cider braised pork is apple cider.

  • Apple cider is an unfiltered and unsweetened apple juice that is made from fresh apples.
  • It has a slightly tangy and sweet taste that adds depth of flavor to this dish.
  • Choose a good quality apple cider, preferably one that is made with a high percentage of fresh apples and no added sugars.


Onions are a staple ingredient in many savory dishes, including cider braised pork.

  • Onions add a delicious and savory flavor to this dish.
  • They also help to add moisture and texture to the pork.
  • Use yellow onions for this recipe, as they have a milder and sweeter taste than other varieties.


Carrots are one of the vegetables that go well with this dish.

  • Carrots add natural sweetness and depth of flavor to this dish.
  • They also add some color and texture to the vegetables.
  • Make sure to cut the carrots into large chunks so that they don’t turn to mush during the long cooking time.


Celery is another great vegetable to add to cider braised pork.

  • Celery is a flavorful and nutrient-rich vegetable that adds a savory taste to this dish.
  • It also adds some crunch and texture to the vegetables.
  • Be sure to rinse the celery well and remove any tough, white or brown parts before chopping.


Garlic is a fragrant and flavorful ingredient that is a must-have for cider braised pork.

  • Garlic adds a pungent and earthy flavor to this dish.
  • It also has many health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.
  • Crush the garlic cloves or chop them finely to release maximum flavor.

Herbs (Thyme And Bay Leaves)

Herbs are another crucial ingredient in cider braised pork.

  • Thyme is a fragrant herb that has a subtle lemon and mint flavor.
  • It pairs well with pork and adds a savory taste to this dish.
  • Bay leaves have a subtle and slightly sweet flavor that adds depth of flavor to this dish.
  • Make sure to remove the bay leaves and thyme stems before serving.

Salt And Pepper

Salt and pepper are the two most essential seasonings that you need for cider braised pork.

  • Salt enhances the flavor of the pork and brings out its natural sweetness.
  • Pepper adds a subtle and slightly spicy taste to this dish.
  • Use freshly ground pepper for maximum flavor.

How to Make Cider-Braised Pork Roast

Cooking Steps

Cooking cider braised pork is easier than you may think.

  • Preheat oven to 350°f.
  • In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Brown the pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Remove pork from the pan and set it aside.
  • Add onions and garlic to the dutch oven, and sauté until the onions are transparent.
  • Add apple cider and chicken broth to the onions and garlic, and bring it to a boil.
  • Place pork into the dutch oven and braise it for about 50 minutes to an hour.
  • After 50 minutes, test the pork for done-ness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be between 145°f – 160°f.
  • If the pork needs more time, braise it for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • To thicken the sauce, cook on the stovetop over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
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By following these simple cooking steps, you can easily create a delicious and flavorful cider braised pork. The pork will be tender and juicy, and the sauce will be rich and flavorful. Enjoy this dish with a side of mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Serving Suggestions

Cider braised pork is a flavorful and scrumptious dish that is perfect for dinner parties or weekend family meals. The savory aroma of pork, coupled with apple cider, creates a rich and complex flavor profile that is sure to delight any food lover.

As a result, you will want to serve this dish with sides that complement its rich and comforting flavors.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted root vegetables are an excellent accompaniment to cider-braised pork. They add texture, color, and flavor to the dish, making it more satisfying.

  • Choose root vegetables of different colors and textures to add variety to your plate. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets would all work well.
  • Cut vegetables into similar sizes for even cooking. Large chunks will take longer to cook, while small ones may burn.
  • Coat vegetables lightly with olive oil and seasonings, such as rosemary or thyme, before roasting.
  • Roast vegetables in a preheated oven at 425°f for approximately 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with cider-braised pork. They are creamy, comforting, and ensure that no delicious sauce goes to waste.

  • Use a starchy variety of potato, such as russet or yukon gold, for a fluffy and light mashed potato.
  • Boil potatoes in salty water until they are fork-tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add butter and a splash of cream or milk to the cooked potatoes. Mash until creamy but still slightly chunky.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crusty Bread

Crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially when paired with pork braised in apple cider. It is easy to prepare, adds texture, and is sure to please.

  • Choose a fresh and crusty bread, such as a baguette or sourdough loaf.
  • Slice bread into thick slices and brush with olive oil or butter.
  • Toast the bread in a preheated oven at 350°f for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Serve warm with butter or a tangy cheese spread.

These sides are perfect for enhancing the flavors of cider-braised pork. Roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, and crusty bread are all easy to prepare and add variety to the plate. Be sure to serve them with your pork for a complete and satisfying meal that will leave your guests asking for more.

Tips And Tricks

Cider braised pork is a hearty and delicious dish, perfect for a chilly evening or a special occasion. However, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure that your pork turns out perfectly.

Use A Good-Quality Pork Shoulder – It Will Have A Higher Fat Content, Which Will Add Extra Depth And Flavor To The Dish.

When preparing cider braised pork, it’s important to invest in a good-quality pork shoulder. This cut of meat will have a higher fat content, which helps add extra richness and flavor to the dish. Moreover, the meat will be more tender and juicy, which is essential for a dish like cider braised pork.

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Don’T Skip Browning The Pork – This Step Is Crucial For Developing The Flavor And Texture Of The Dish.

Before cooking the pork, make sure to brown it first. This step is crucial as it develops the texture and flavor of the meat. The browning process caramelizes the natural sugars in the pork, creating a crust that adds depth and complexity to your dish.

Don’t skip this step, or you may miss out on a critical ingredient in your recipe.

Let The Pork Simmer On Low Heat For At Least 2-3 Hours To Achieve Maximum Tenderness.

The secret to achieving maximum tenderness in your pork is to let it simmer on low heat for at least 2-3 hours. This long, slow process results in melt-in-your-mouth meat that is succulent and delicious. It’s essential to be patient and allow the pork to cook slowly over a low flame to achieve this level of tenderness.

Use A Wooden Spoon To Scrape Off Any Browned Bits From The Bottom Of The Skillet When Adding The Cider – It Will Enhance The Flavor Of The Sauce.

When adding the cider to your braised pork, make sure to scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. These bits are full of flavor and will enhance the sauce, making it richer and more delicious. A wooden spoon works best to loosen up these bits and incorporate them into the sauce.

With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily create delicious, succulent cider braised pork that will impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. So, why not try out this recipe tonight and give yourself a treat?

Final Thoughts

Cider braised pork is an instant crowd-pleaser, particularly during the fall season when apples are abundant. With an enticing aroma and mouth-watering taste, it’s no surprise that this dish is always in demand.

The Perfect Pairing

To fully enjoy cider braised pork, it is best paired with complimentary sides that enhance its flavor.

  • Mashed potatoes;
  • Brown rice;
  • Sweet potatoes;
  • Steamed vegetables.

One can also add some chopped apples to the dish for a more fruity and unique flavor.

Don’T Forget The Drinks

To complete the meal, one must not forget about the drinks.

  • Cider ale;
  • Spiced rum;
  • Sparkling water.

Leftover Tips

If you have any leftovers, do not worry because they can also be used for various dishes.

  • Pork tacos or wraps;
  • Pork shepherd’s pie;
  • Pork hash with sweet potatoes;
  • Pork stir-fry with vegetables.

Cider braised pork is a great meal for all occasions. Be it an intimate dinner for two or a big family gathering, it will never disappoint. Enjoy it with the perfect side, drinks, or use the leftovers for your next meal.

Frequently Asked Questions For Cider Braised Pork

What Is Cider Braised Pork?

Cider braised pork is a dish made by cooking pork in a flavorful mixture of apple cider, herbs, and spices.

What Type Of Pork Is Best For Cider Braising?

Pork shoulder or pork loin are the best cuts of meat to use for cider braising.

How Long Should I Cook Cider Braised Pork?

Cider braised pork should be cooked for at least 2-3 hours until it is tender enough to shred with a fork.

What Are Some Recommended Side Dishes For Cider Braised Pork?

Some great side dishes for cider braised pork include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cornbread.

Can I Make Cider Braised Pork In A Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can easily make cider braised pork in a slow cooker. Just follow the recipe and cook on low for 8 hours.


The cider braised pork is more than just a savory and hearty dish; it is also a testament to how a single ingredient can elevate an entire meal. Slow-cooking pork in apple cider is a great way to infuse flavors that complement each other, resulting in a mouthwatering dish that satisfies the senses.

The aroma of pork mingling with cider is enough to set the mood for a cozy, satisfying meal, and the taste is nothing short of amazing. The cider adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance the savory flavor of the pork, making it a dish that you can enjoy on any occasion.

Whether you are looking for a meal to serve on a chilly autumn night, or simply an easy-to-make dish that everyone will love, cider braised pork is a recipe that you definitely must try.