Pork Shoulder Braised in Hard Cider
To finish the sauce, the liquid is first reduced, and then a beurre manie, a mixture of flour and butter, is added. And since pork pairs well with apples, hard cider is used to braise the meat.
Pork shoulder (also called pork butt) is available bone-in or boneless; you can use either for this preparation. Hard cider, or fermented apple juice, is a popular beverage in Englandand parts of France, where it is also used in cooking. If you prefer a nonalcoholic substitute, use a combination of chicken stock and sparkling apple cider instead (no more than half cider, or the dish will be too sweet). Heavy cream is stirred into the sauce at the end to add richness, but you can omit it if you like. Buerre manie is a thickening agent that consists of equal parts flour and softened butter, which are kneaded together by hand or with a fork. Buerre manie can be added to almost any sauce thatneeds a bit more body.
For variation, the standard French mirepoix of onion, carrot, and celery is replaced with a white mirepoix of parsnip, celery root, and leek.