Beer and Balsamic Braised Pork Cavatappi
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 8
  • 3 pieces bacon
  • 4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (3 pounds without the bone), cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced or shredded carrots
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 - 6 ounce tomato paste
  • 1 bottle wheat beer
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 pounds cavatappi
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small food processor, pulse onion, garlic and carrots until it creates a paste.
  3. In a dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp over a medium heat. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Remove all the bacon fat except for two tablespoons, reserve the rest.
  4. Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat. Working in two batches (if necessary) brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Turn the heat down to medium.
  5. Add veggies into the same pot, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar, reduce for 30 seconds to one minute.
  7. Stir in tomato paste. Add beer.
  8. Transfer meat back to the pot and cover with chicken stock. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours or until meat is fork-tender.
  9. When pork is done cooking, remove from oven and shred with two forks. If the sauce is loose, put it back on the burner and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened.
  10. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. It should taste like sea water. Add in cavatappi. Cook until just under aldente. Drain, but reserve a cup of cooking liquid.
  11. Pour cavatappi into pork sauce and toss with noodles over a low heat. The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce. If needed add pasta water to loosen up sauce.
  12. Add parmesan at the last minute, toss together.
  13. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese.
Recipe by Cooking for Keeps at