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How to Make Braised Pork with Dried Fruit

Updated on February 27, 2011

This is such an easy recipe that pretty quickly delivers up a rich and tasty meal of fruity and very tender pork. Serve with a salad and some good bread for sopping up the juices and you’ve got a great dinner on the table.

Pork and Dried Fruit Braise

  • 2 lbs of Boston Butt (pork shoulder), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 medium cooking onions, cut into slices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup dried prunes
  • 1 cup water, or homemade chicken or pork stock
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • About 5 Tbls of olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  1. Sprinkle the pork cubes with a little salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  2. Grab a heavy *Dutch oven style pot and heat about half the oil up over medium heat. Add the meat to the pan and brown it well on all sides. This should take you a few minutes, but spending a little time here to brown these chunks of pork slowly on all sides will pay a big flavor dividend in the finished stew, because after you add water to the pan, the pork will; never gain any additional tasty browning. Although you may be tempted to crank the heat up to high to get the meat browned very quickly, this will not give you as deep a crust on the meat and you are more likely to scorch the pan – so keep it on medium! *If you don’t have a Dutch oven cast iron casserole dish, what you need for this recipe is a heavy pot that can be heated on the stovetop and used in the oven – preferably one with a tight fitting lid. As a last resort, if you don’t have anything like this, you can just fry the pork and onions in a fry pan and then transfer the lot to a covered baking dish for the oven).
  3. Once the pork is nicely browned on all sides (think mahogany) remove from the pan and reserve for a moment on a platter as you fry up the onions. To sauté the onions, add in the remaining oil, and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they have softened, about 5 minutes, and then add in the garlic, and sauté for another couple of minutes.
  4. Once the onions are ready, add the stock or water to the pan along with the spices, dried fruits and the pork you’ve kept to the side (along with any juices that have collected).
  5. Cover the pan tightly (if you lid doesn’t seal well, use aluminum foil) and transfer to the onion for an hour.
  6. After an hour, remove from the oven and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as necessary.



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