A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

As seen in the story about Barbara Swell’s log cabin cooking. Forgotten foods are my specialty, especially when guests gather and conversations flow while dinner lingers a bit too long

Madison County Championship Rodeo

As seen in the story about Barbara Swell’s log cabin cooking. Forgotten foods are my specialty, especially when guests gather and conversations flow while dinner lingers a bit too long

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

As seen in the story about Barbara Swell’s log cabin cooking. Forgotten foods are my specialty, especially when guests gather and conversations flow while dinner lingers a bit too long

“Forgotten” Cider-Roasted Pork

As seen in the story about Barbara Swell’s log cabin cooking.

Forgotten foods are my specialty, especially when guests gather and conversations flow while dinner lingers a bit too long on the hearth. Turns out this irreverently near-charred pork is a party favorite at our house. Serve alongside roasted carrots, fall greens, and October beans. You can forget-cook this pork in oven or campfire embers. 

3 pounds pork shoulder
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to your liking)
Freshly ground pepper
1 onion, cut into medium pieces
4 cups apple cider (part hard cider is fun)
A small glug (about a tablespoon) apple cider vinegar (add after 2 hours)

Cut pork into large chunks and rub each with salt and pepper. Render a bit of the fat in a large skillet and then brown the pork in two batches, a couple minutes on each side.

Place pork in a Dutch oven. The radiant heat from cast iron works best, but use what you have. Meanwhile, lightly brown the onion in the skillet, then deglaze the pan with some of the cider. Add the cider-onion mixture to the pork along with remaining cider. Cover the pot and bake in a slow 300° oven. If cooking on campfire embers, use a footed cast-iron pot and keep a few embers on top of the pot and underneath.

Cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring the pot hourly if you can remember. After about 2 hours, add the vinegar to taste and correct the seasoning. Remove some of the fat from the cider sauce if much has been rendered. Continue to bake until meat is deep brown and has an internal temperature of 145°, and the cider reduces to a glaze.

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This story was published on Oct 26, 2021