Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Bacon

Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Bacon

6 ounces of bacon, diced
4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into six pieces
Salt and pepper
5 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Korbel Classic Brandy
1 1/4 cups apple cider, or juice
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tart apples peeled and sliced into ΒΌ inch wedges
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Chives, to garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel lined plate and cool.

Increase heat to medium high. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown in pan, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add shallots to pot and cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and add brandy. Stir bottom of pot well to scrape up the bits. Return to heat and add apple cider and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and then add pork in a single layer. The meat will not be completely covered. Cover pot and bake in oven for two hours (turning pot after an hour). Stir in reserved bacon after removing from oven.

To make sauce, remove pork from pan and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid and place over medium heat. Bring liquid to a simmer and add apples. Cook until apples are just tender and sauce is reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in mustard, season with salt and pepper. Serve pork over cheesy polenta or rice, and spoon apples over pork. Garnish with minced chives.

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