Braised Pork Shoulder


To braise is to cook a food twice. Specifically, sear the food with intense heat, then stew that food in a pot of liquid. The combination of searing with dry heat will impart the flame-cooked flavor that many people crave, while the stewing infuses the food with a wet heat that will both keep it moist and add any flavors of spice. Braising is an art that must be practiced in order to be perfected.

Why the shoulder? The pork shoulder is a prized part of the pig that is commonly smoked, pit-cooked, and prepared as barbecue or as pulled pork. By braising pork shoulder, one strives to get the barbecue taste (by searing) and to retain the moisture by stewing the pork with tomatoes, onion, green peppers, celery, plus seasoning, such as coarse salt, ground black pepper, and herbs like parsley and bay leaves.

Also, if you are new at braising, try it on pork shoulder first. The French seem to have elevated the use of braising in their cooking. Once you have mastered the pork shoulder, set you sights on braising to create goulash, beef bourguignon, chicken cacciatore, then the ultimate braised dish: coq au vin.

How braising works is somewhat of a mystery. You might take some credit for creating a culinary masterpiece, but after you attempt to create it again, the result may be different (not better or worse, just not the same). If that happens, you can try to figure out why, but it may not have happened because of what you did or did not do (the mystery). You must believe in what happened, serve, and enjoy the meal.

The aging Apostle Paul wrote letters to a young pastor. In the Christian Bible online, web search 1 Timothy 16. Paul wrote Timothy between 63 & 66 AD (63-66 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Paul told the young pastor to anchor his preaching about Jesus on what is known, then to help his congregation to believe without proof. Then, and today, we know why God created himself in the form of a man, but we do not know how he did it (the mystery). We must accept God’s gift of the Christ. By believing, we welcome God’s grace into our lives.

Resource Box: In the name of Jesus Christ, pray to Father God. Ask him for his grace. Web search what you want to know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and other subjects in the Christian Bible at the online Bible Gateway, https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=The+bible+gateway Through his grace, you will find hope.

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