Wine-Braised Pork Shoulder

This braised pork with red wine is an easy, set-it-and-forget-it one-pot meal. Made with meltingly tender shredded pork shoulder, red onions, and a rich red wine and herb sauce, it boasts French overtones but without any fussiness.

Braised pork with red wine sauce in a Staub Dutch oven.

This take on pork shoulder is bursting with deep flavors that develop while the meat slowly cooks. Aside from a little chopping and basting, the recipe is pretty hands-off, so it’s a good one for entertaining. Any dried herb will work well here. Serve it with a side of mashed potatoes for a perfect winter meal.–Andrea Bemis

What red wine is best with pork?

Almost any mellow or slightly sturdier red wine will work well with this French-style braised pork, including pinot noir, an affordable Bordeaux, or any French-style blend. You needn’t stick with French wine, though. A Syrah or Italian blend or even Carmenere could also work nicely. Use something that’s not too expensive but that you’ll want to drink since you’ll have more than half the bottle left over.

Wine-Braised Pork Shoulder

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 4 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6
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Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).

Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the herbs, salt, and pepper.

In the bottom of a large Dutch oven, layer the onions. Place the pork, fat side down, on the onions and sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Use your hands to rub it evenly over the pork. Flip the pork so the fat side is up and rub it with the remaining spice mixture. Pour in the wine and cover.

Place the Dutch oven in the oven and braise, basting the pork every hour or so, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers about 180°F (82°C), 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. A boneless roast will be done sooner than a bone-in roast.

When the meat is tender, remove the shoulder from the pot and let it cool while you finish the sauce.

Skim any fat floating on the surface of the juices and then strain the liquid into a medium saucepan.

Tester tip: If you prefer to have as little fat in your sauce—something we’re not particularly proponents of as fat has flavor—use that gravy separator you otherwise use only at Thanksgiving or refrigerate or freeze your pan juices until the fat congeals on top and can easily be skimmed.

Add about half the onions to the saucepan with the liquid and place the remainder back in the Dutch oven. Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it is slightly reduced, 8 to 15 minutes. The sauce will be quite thin.

Carefully pour the mixture into a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.

Shred the pork and return it to the Dutch oven and drizzle with the puréed sauce. Toss the pork and onions with the sauce and keep it warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Divide the pork among plates and, if desired, garnish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and/or thyme.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

We loved this French (or is it Italian maybe?) take on pulled pork. It’s a delightful pulled pork complete with a tangy sauce and piquant onions tossed in as well.

True to the recipe intro, it is a huge return on the investment since it requires minimal work and delivers an impressive meal. I made this on a weekday, seasoned it and put it in the pot, let it stay for an hour while I took some calls, and then put it in the oven and barely messed with it. It holds marvelously well until dinner time, as one would expect from a braise. It was tender, very easy to shred but not falling apart, which is perfect.

I served it with farro and sweet potato pilaf along with roasted acorn squash.

After puréeing the ingredients, it gave me a sauce thick enough and in a quantity that was enough to coat the meat very well. I used a good red blend. I think anything that tastes fine would work here, even a white wine would work. It would be different but nice.

Braised pork with red wine sauce in a Dutch oven.

I must say I was very skeptical about how this recipe might turn out. It reminded me of making pork for carnitas but with a different spice profile. It was very easy to make.

My pork shoulder weighed 3 1/2 pounds and it did not have a bone in it. I used pinot noir for the wine. I took the meat out after 3 ½ hours and it was nicely done. I did something a little different. I have never had good luck skimming fat off of liquid, so I poured the liquid into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and refrigerated it for 3 hours. The fat solidified and was easy to remove.

I made the sauce with half the onions and the liquid then added about 1/2 of the meat to it to reheat (there were only two of us). We served it over polenta. It was delicious. We had it again with mashed potatoes a few days later and it was excellent.

I don't think the recipe makes enough sauce for the amount of meat, but not sure how you would increase it. I have quite a bit of shredded pork left which I will make pulled pork sandwiches with bbq sauce. When I make it again, I might add a clove of garlic.


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  1. Do a lot of braises with Boston butt cut. Any reason that this recipe would not be suitable for using the butt? These ten pork recipes are a great list of pork for the winter.

    1. I think the Boston butt would work fine here, Jack. Do let us know how it turns out!

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