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Italian Braised Pork

This tender pork would also be wonderful over pasta or polenta.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 4 hours 20 mins
  • servings: 4
Photography: YunHee Kim




  • 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

Cook's Note

Tasty Tip
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.


  1. Step 1

    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.

  2. Step 2

    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).

  3. Step 3

    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.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2013

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Reviews (2)

  • 15 Feb, 2014

    My husband and I though this was delicious. I used pork chops instead of pork shoulder since they were out at the grocery store, and it worked fine. Also I omitted fennel seeds as I don't like the flavor, and used diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning which added great flavor. We served it over polenta. Delicious!

  • 30 Mar, 2013

    I loved this recipe. It was very easy to make. The browning of the pork and vegetables gave the final dish a nice rich flavor. My only complaint is that is was too watery. The pork was tender and shredded well, but the sauce was too thin. I added tomato paste to the leftovers and it was delicious. I served it over polenta with mascarpone. Next time I make it I will use tomato paste.