Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pork in Beer (Practically a Dark Days Challenge Meal)

 We had this pork dish at Navarre on our anniversary dinner. It looked like nothing special, bits of shredded pork with broth puddled around it. But one bite made my tastebuds sing and my eyes light up. The meat was fall apart tender, the broth rich and delicious. The waitress, after watching us struggle to scrape up the tiny bits of meat and broth left in the bowl, brought us hunks of crusty bread which we used to wipe the bowl clean. I asked her what was the pork cooked in. Her answer, some beer and some caraway seeds. OKAY!

Sunday morning I visited the butcher for a Carton Farms pork butt. Justin pulled down my heaviest lidded pot and wished me luck. :) I browned the pork butt with no added oil. I started the pot over medium heat so some of the fat would melt out of the meat to brown itself. Then I added onion that I chopped as finely as I could with a few spoons of black peppercorns and caraway seeds. Once the onions were browned and the meat had a light crust I poured in a bottle of Justin's homemade beer, put the lid on and walked away.

Five hours later, the house smelled heavenly, the meat was falling apart. I poured the broth into my trusty fat separator to make it a little less rich and added the broth back to the pot. Crusty bread, salad and a bottle of wine - dinner was served! It was just as delicious as Navarre's version.

Start this at least 5 hours before you want to eat it. It is a good weekend meal for when you are working around the house. (I suppose you could crockpot it too, but I feel like the crockpot makes things too watery.)

Pork in Beer
1 3-4 pound pork butt
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, shredded or cut very finely
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2-3 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 bottle of delicious medium to dark beer

1. Sprinkle salt on meat. Heat a heavy bottomed lidded pot over medium heat. Once heated add pork butt and begin to brown on all sides. I let it cook about 4 minutes on each side.
2. Add onion and spices and let cook in the fat for about 5 minutes or until onions soften and begin to brown. You may have to turn the heat up a little depending on your pot.
3. Pour in beer and plop the lid onto the pot. Turn heat to medium-low. Walk away
4. Every hour or so, check on meat, turn and adjust heat to keep broth at a simmer.
5. When meat is falling apart turn off heat. Spoon broth into a fat separator (if you want). Return broth to meat. Shred meat with two forks.

Serve with crusty bread to mop up the broth.

One Year Ago: Jicama (my most visited page.. I have no idea why!)


  1. I love when I have surprise meals like that!


  2. Sounds good! Thanks for coming by my blog and following;)

  3. reading posts like this make me wish i hadn't chosen being a vegetarian. i miss meat. :)