Perfect for this time of year, this recipe can be made using a Dutch Oven or slow-cooker and used for different preparations. We have served it over pasta, wrapped in tacos, stuffed inside homemade ravioli, in BBQ sandwiches. The possibilities are endless. For braising, we like to use Two Shilling Red or J. Andrews Merlot because they are light and not too pricey but yet have a lot of character.
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into large pieces
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for browning meat
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups red wine
2 cups veal stock (beef can be substituted)
Sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours or low for about 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and brown the seasoned meat on all sides, working in batches.
Transfer the meat to a plate and sauté the onion, shallot, carrot, celery and garlic, lowering the heat slightly so that the vegetables cook evenly and slowly. Add the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Add the flour, stir and cook another 2 minutes. On medium-high heat, add the red wine and stir with a whisk. Let it reduce by half.
Return the pork to the pot, add fresh herbs, veal stock and add water if necessary until meat is covered about two-thirds. Cover and bring to a boil. Place in the oven and braise until fork tender – about 3 hours.