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+ servings
Braised Pork with Apples and Rosemary
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins

A simple and savory winter stew featuring braised pork with apples, rosemary, chilies, and fresh citrus served over polenta. Recipe adapted from Italian Slow and Savory by Joyce Goldstein.

Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: braised pork with apples
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Recipe adapted from ' Italian Slow and Savory' by Joyce Goldstein
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other neutral, heat-tolerant oil
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, fat trimmed, and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 - 4 dried Thai chili peppers, or 1 - 2 sliced fresh Fresno chilies
  • 1 head garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 4 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 blood oranges, or any sweet orange, supremed* (see notes below)
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • 4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  1. Sprinkle cubed pork generously with sea salt and pepper on all sides. 

  2. Note: during the searing stage, the pork and rendered fat splatters and pops quite a bit. Use a deeper pot than you think you'll need, and ideally, keep a splatter screen handy.
  3. Set a large Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed, deep-sided pot over medium/medium-high heat, and when hot, add the oil. (Oil should be hot, but not smoking). Working in 2 - 3 batches, sear pork on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove cooked pork to a plate.
  4. Drain off all of the rendered fat. Deglaze pot with a 1/2 cup white wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Next, add seared pork, chilies, garlic, rosemary, and all remaining wine. Bring stew to a boil, then turn heat down to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat and cover.
  5. Check braise after an hour. Meat should be incredibly tender, but still hold its shape. Cook up to 1 hour longer (I've found that cooking time varies, so check meat every 20 minutes to be sure it doesn't overcook). When pork is tender and just melts in your mouth, fold in apples, cover pot, and cook an additional 20 - 30 minutes, until apples are cooked through but still have some bite.
  6. Meanwhile, make the polenta. Bring water to a boil, whisk in polenta and sea salt. Stirring occasionally, cook 35 - 45 minutes, or until polenta is creamy. If needed, add an additional cup of water. Taste, and add sea salt to taste.
  7. To serve, ladle braised pork and apples over polenta. Garnish with minced fresh rosemary, fresh citrus wedges, and shaved Parmesan.