The only thing hard about this slow cooked pork shoulder is the apple cider in the delectable sauce. If you don't drink hard cider often, you might be surprised by how many different brands there are in the beer aisle of the supermarket. One that's not too sweet will work best in this recipe; our Test Kitchen recommends Woodchuck Hard Cider.

Karen Rankin


Credit: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
5 hrs 50 mins
Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pat pork dry with paper towels; season on all sides with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of the salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork, and cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet, and add onion and garlic to hot drippings. Cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker with pork. 

  • Add carrots, celery root, apple, cider, thyme, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt to slow cooker. Cover; cook until vegetables are tender and pork is very tender, 5 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. Remove pork, and place on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from liquid in slow cooker, and place in a bowl. Discard apple and thyme sprigs.

  • Skim fat from surface of liquid; discard. Whisk water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into liquid in slow cooker, and cover and cook on HIGH until thickened, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred pork into bite-size pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Sprinkle with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper into gravy in slow cooker. Serve hot cooked noodles with vegetables, pork, and gravy. Garnish with thyme.