This Cider-Braised Pork has the best Autumn flavor, especially served with butter nut squash! I made bowls with ours and it definitely tasted like delicious comfort food! We typically use riced cauliflower, but regular rice or even quinoa would be great if you prefer one of those options.
- 6–7-pound bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt)
- 3 Tbsp pink Himalayan or sea salt (more as needed)
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (more as needed)
- 2 cups apple cider or juice
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 head of garlic
- 6 scallions, trimmed
- Riced cauliflower for serving
Place pork shoulder on a rimmed baking sheet and rub salt all over it. Let it set, uncovered, at least 1 hour and up to 2 to come up to room temperature.
Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 300F.
Slice squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and “guts”. Season all over with salt and drizzle with a little oil. Place, cut side down, on a separate baking sheet. Set aside.
Once pork is room temperature, pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high until shimmering and almost smoking. Cook pork on all sides until well browned. Move pork back to the baking sheet, turn off heat, and even pour out any fat has accumulated in bottom of Dutch oven.
Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat and add apple cider, coconut aminos, and ½ cup vinegar, scraping bottom to get up anything that has stuck. Slice head of garlic in half crosswise and add to pot. Add pork back into the Dutch oven. Cover pork with a piece of aluminum foil and tuck it around pork. Cover the Dutch oven and place in the oven on the lower rack. Put the baking sheet with squash on top rack. Bake pork, turning after 1½ hours, until meat is very tender and pulling away from the bone: 3–3½ hours total. Bake squash until it is nice and soft when poked: 1–1½ hours.
Move pork to a serving dish, saving the liquid in the Dutch oven. Let the pork cool a bit to handle easier. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and squeeze out cloves into braising liquid, discard skins. Shred pork and return meat to pot with braising liquid. Season pork and liquid with salt and a splash of vinegar. Slice scallions in thin pieces.
To serve, scoop out pieces of squash and arrange on plates or in bowls. Spoon pork and some juices over squash and garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with riced cauliflower.