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Slow-Cooker Beer Braised Pork Shoulder

We were looking for a great pork recipe we could make in the slow-cooker. Something that would be savory, not sweet like most pork dishes. We also wanted to prepare it in the slow-cooker so that we could get the the meat juicy enough so that it fell apart. We modified a recipe in Beer magazine that was made for a dutch oven. Keep in mind you won't be able to use all the beer in this recipe so you may have to enjoy a tall glass while cooking.

Ingredients

  • 6 lb Bone-in pork shoulder (you may have to special order this from the butcher.)
  • 4 oz. Pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tsp Fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 1/4 ground Coriander
  • 4 large sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 large Bay leaf
  • 1 bottle of Belgium style beer
  • 1 1/4 Cup chicken stock or broth
  • Sea salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Using medium to medium-low heat, cook pancetta in a 12", or larger, frying pan until crisp. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil to the pan on medium heat. Add the onions to the pan, cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove the onions and set aside.
  3. Remove all fat from the outside of the pork. Generously season the pork with sea salt and pepper all over. Add 1 Tbs of olive oil to the pan and brown the pork on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. 
  4. Place the pork shoulder into the crock pot.
  5. Mix the garlic, Fennels seeds, ground Coriander, fresh Thyme and Bay leaf into the chick stock. Pour over pork in the slow-cooker. Cover top and sides of the pork with caramelized onion and Pancetta. Pour beer over pork. Be sure liquid is at least 1 inch from rim of the crock pot.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

Serving

Serve over egg noodles or rice. You may also want a crunchy sour dough bread to soak up the juice. Did I mention you should crack open another Belgium beer to serve with your meal?
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