Pork Shoulder with Sage, Parsnips and Cider

, from Issue #67. July, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Pork Shoulder with Sage, Parsnips and Cider

Slow cooked until luscious and tender, cider, parsnips and mustard are perfect partners, with cream adding a rich flourish.

Serves: 6–8


1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5–2-kilogram piece pork shoulder, bone in, skin off
150 grams streaky bacon, roughly chopped
12 pickling onions, peeled with root end left intact
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage

330ml apple cider
600 grams parsnips, peeled
⅓ cup cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped parsley
sea salt and ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Season the pork and brown well on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add the bacon, onions, garlic and sage to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Increase the heat and add the cider, letting it boil up and scraping the base of the pan to release all the sticky bits. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the parsnips into quarters and cut out the tough core then cut into large wedges.

Place half of the parsnips and half of the onion/cider mixture in the base of a large ovenproof casserole dish. Place the pork on top then add the remaining parsnips and pour over the remaining cider mixture.

Cover with a piece of baking paper then a tight fitting lid or foil.

Cook for 2–3 hours or until the pork is very tender and will easily pull apart.

Transfer the pork, onions and parsnips to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Put the casserole over a high heat and add the cream and mustard. Bring to the boil then cook until the juices are reduced a little and syrupy. Season and stir in the parsley then pour over the pork. 

Serving option: Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and pinch salt in a bowl. Add 1 crisp apple cut into matchsticks and ½ cup thinly sliced celery and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. 

Cook's tip: If your casserole dish is not suitable to place over a direct heat on the stove top, tip the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan then follow the recipe as above.