Palette de Porc a la Biere (ou en anglais Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with a Dijon Mustard Sauce)

Palette de porc a la biereOver the weekend Cheryl requested something new and untried for Sunday dinner and said she’d pick from the cookbook shelf.  The winning recipe of the ones she chose: Bourdain’s Palette de Porc a la Biere; a.k.a beer braised pork shoulder with mustard sauce.

This was a really fun exercise.  She took photos of 5 recipes and showed them to me while we were at lunch.  I knew the recipe titles and ingredients but had no idea how they were prepared.  I picked this braised pork shoulder recipe based on the ingredients figuring it would be some sort of French pulled pork.  Far from it!  When we got home I looked at the actual recipe and discovered Palette de Porc a la Biere is more of a roast recipe you finish by encrusting the shoulder with mustard and bread crumbs and then baking to a golden crisp.

The preparation for this couldn’t be easier, in fact, the entire dinner was pretty foolproof.  Brown the pork, remove, brown the vegetables, add liquid, add pork back, simmer for two hours.  The only “technical” part is rubbing mustard and bread crumbs on the pork shoulder at the end.  I mean come on, the only easier way to do this is to somehow finagle an invite for Sunday dinner!  Not only is it a good recipe for the technically challenged but it’s fairly inexpensive too.  The 5 lb bone-in pork shoulder cost around $9.  The rest of the stuff should be in your pantry or refrigerator.  And even if not, you can still make a good Sunday dinner for under $20 with this recipe and impress someone at the same time.

How’s it taste?  Pretty damn good.  The pork doesn’t dry out and the sauce is delicious.  We had leftovers last night and as Cheryl was headed to the kitchen for seconds I heard “this is a really good one, good job honey.”

Palette de Porc a la Biere, or Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with a Dijon Mustard Sauce (adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook)

  • 4-6 lb bone in pork shoulder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 small onions sliced thinly
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • ¼ C apple cider vinegar
  • 12 oz beer ( can or bottle)
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs plain unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs)

Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.  In a large heavy bottomed pot over high heat add 2 Tbs of oil.  Add the butter and let it foam.  Once the foam subsides add the pork shoulder and brown for minutes on each side.  Remove from pot and set aside.

Pour off and discard the remaining oil and butter.  Over medium heat add the remaining 2 Tbs of oil.  Once heated add the onions, carrots, and garlic.  Cook until they are soft and brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Dust the vegetables with the flour and mix well to coat.  Cook for 2 more minutes, giving it an occasional stir.

Add the vinegar and beer, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Bring liquid to a boil and reduce by half.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add the pork and any juices back into the pot and reduce heat to low simmer.  Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

After about 1 ½ hours pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

After 2 hours remove the pork and set on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Brush/apply 2 Tbs of the mustard to the pork shoulder.  Coat with the bread crumbs and press into the mustard.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until a nice brown crust forms.

While the shoulder is roasting, strain the cooking liquid and pour off the fat.  Pour into a saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Try to reduce the liquid by at least half.

Side Roam:  If you have an overly salty sauce or stock, add a potato to it.  I learned this trick while watching this season’s Top Chef.  Never heard of this technique before and as luck would have it I over-salted the pork which in turn over-salted the sauce.  As I was reducing the liquid I cut up a potato and threw it in.  It worked!  Don’t know how but it did.  So remember, too salty, add a potato.  Just remember to take it out when you finish the sauce!

Whisk in the remaining mustard, adjust seasonings.  (If not thick enough whisk in some corn starch slurry or flour until you reach the desired consistency.)

Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

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