Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Braised Pork Shoulder with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

I had a little pork shoulder left over from my recent sausage-making experiment. Chef Grant, a friend from CrossFit Freedom, suggested the following recipe. The only problem with it is that we were left wanting more! This is a delicious use of pork shoulder, a cut that I have always reserved for the crock pot or smoker. I made this with about 2 pounds of pork shoulder, but have upped the quantity in the recipe so that you can have your fill, with some possible leftovers. You could also use thick-cut pork shops for this recipe. I was happy to finally use the dried chiles my brother-in-law had given me from his garden. The spice wasn't overpowering, but just the right amount. If you don't have dried chiles, try adding some cayenne pepper instead. I served these with fork-mashed sweet potatoes, which you can bake at the same time as the pork. When I made this meal, I was running to and from my children's various activities. I didn't want the pork to overcook, so after an hour, I reduced the temperature to 250 degrees F and let the pork cook for about 2 additional hours while I was gone. It turned out great! The instructions below are as given by Grant. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

3-4 pounds pork shoulder
4 cups chicken stock
4 dried hot chili peppers
1 cup hot water
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 sweet potatoes or yams
grass-fed butter (optional)


Saute pork pieces until just browned.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degres F.
  2. Rinse potatoes and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Cut pork into pieces that are roughly 4 inches across and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place chiles in hot water for 2-3 minutes to soften them. Remove chiles and discard water. Slit chiles lengthwise and remove seeds and stems.
  5. Warm oil in a large stock pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork medallions and let cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or until just browned. Use tongs to flip and brown the other side.
  6. While the second side browns, add onion and peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes with the pork.
  7. Add chicken stock, garlic, and chili peppers, stirring gently to combine the vegetables and stock.
  8. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pork is very tender. Place potatoes in the oven about 1 hour prior to then end of your cook time.
  9. Transfer the pork to a platter and keep warm. Remove potatoes from the oven.
  10. Use a slotted spoon to transfer veggies to a medium bowl. Use a stick blender to puree into a sauce, using the reserved stock to thin the sauce, if desired. (I did not need to thin my sauce.)
    NOTE: You can also transfer the veggies to a food processor and process them or transfer the broth to a bowl and use a stick blender to puree the veggies in the skillet.
  11. To serve, plate 2-3 medallions and drizzle with sauce. Slit potatoes and mash the insides with a fork; scoop onto plates or serve in the skin. Season with salt and pepper and top with butter, if desired.


  1. Is it healthy to be eating all this fat?

    1. Hi, Anon! That's a pretty common question when people are first introduced to the paleo diet. I'm going to stick to the cooking questions and refer you to paleo guru, Mark Sisson, to answer your question about fats: Hope that answers your question!