Italian Braised Pork
This tender pork would also be wonderful over pasta or polenta.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, diced small
- 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups prepared couscous, for serving
Take a few minutes to brown the pork and saute the other ingredients before adding them to the slow cooker -- it gives the dish deep flavor.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, celery, and fennel seeds to pan; cook until onion is softened, about 4 minutes.
Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker along with tomatoes. Cover and cook on high until pork is very tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low).
Transfer pork to a cutting board. With two forks, shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Skim fat off sauce and discard. Return shredded pork to slow cooker and stir to combine. (To store: Cool, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days.) Serve over couscous.