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On a Greek island, we learn to balance sweet and savory
Milk Street Bowtie Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary

Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary

3¼ hours 1 hour 10 minutes active

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Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary

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This savory-sweet pork braise is our version of the tigania, or skillet-cooked meat meze, that Diane Kochilas demonstrated for us on the Greek island of Ikaria. Instead of serving the dish in the Greek meze tradition—that is, as a small plate along with a host of others—we opted to make a larger batch to offer as a main course. We preferred the braise sweetened with a strong, dark honey, such as buckwheat, which holds its own in the mix of wine, herbs, citrus and fennel seed. But a lighter, milder variety worked, too; orange blossom honey is a good option. An orzo pilaf or rice is perfect for serving alongside.

6-8

Servings

Tip

Don’t crowd the pot when browning the pork. If the meat is packed too tightly, the pieces will throw off liquid and steam rather than brown. Also, don’t stir when browning the pork to ensure the pieces develop a nice, deep sear. Note that only two-thirds of the pork is browned, not the entire amount; this saves some time but still develops caramelization that builds flavor.

3¼ hours

1 hour 10 minutes active

5-6 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks and patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ cup honey (see note), divided
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus ½ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Ingredients
  • 5-6

    pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
  • 1

    large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1

    cup dry white wine

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided

  • 3

    bay leaves

  • 2

    teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1

    tablespoon fennel seeds

  • ½

    cup honey (see note), divided

  • 1

    tablespoon grated orange zest, plus ½ cup orange juice

  • 3

    tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

  • 2

    tablespoons cider vinegar

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Season the pork with salt and pepper and toss. In a large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add a third of the pork in an even layer and cook without stirring until well browned, about 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip the pieces and cook without stirring until well browned on the second sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and brown ½ of the remaining pork using the oil remaining in the pot, then transfer to the bowl. Add the remaining pork to the bowl; it does not need to be browned.
    See Demo
    ikarian-honey-orange-braised-pork-step-1
  2. 02
    Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pot. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rosemary, the bay, dried oregano, fennel seeds and ¼ cup honey. Return the pork and any juices to the pot, pour in ¾ cup water, and stir. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until a skewer inserted into a piece of pork meets no resistance, 2 to 2½ hours.
    See Demo
    ikarian-honey-orange-braised-pork-step-2
  3. 03
    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl and cover to keep warm. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Stir in the orange juice and remaining ¼ cup honey. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until a spatula drawn through the liquid leaves a trail, about 10 minutes.
    See Demo
    ikarian-honey-orange-braised-pork-step-3
  4. 04
    Off heat, stir in the orange zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, the fresh oregano and the vinegar. Return the pork to the pot and stir to coat with the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    ikarian-honey-orange-braised-pork-step-4
Tip: Don’t crowd the pot when browning the pork. If the meat is packed too tightly, the pieces will throw off liquid and steam rather than brown. Also, don’t stir when browning the pork to ensure the pieces develop a nice, deep sear. Note that only two-thirds of the pork is browned, not the entire amount; this saves some time but still develops caramelization that builds flavor.
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Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary

Get Ready to Cook

6-8

Servings

3¼ hours

1 hour 10 minutes active

Tip

Don’t crowd the pot when browning the pork. If the meat is packed too tightly, the pieces will throw off liquid and steam rather than brown. Also, don’t stir when browning the pork to ensure the pieces develop a nice, deep sear. Note that only two-thirds of the pork is browned, not the entire amount; this saves some time but still develops caramelization that builds flavor.

Ingredients
  • 5-6

    pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
  • 1

    large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1

    cup dry white wine

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided

  • 3

    bay leaves

  • 2

    teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1

    tablespoon fennel seeds

  • ½

    cup honey (see note), divided

  • 1

    tablespoon grated orange zest, plus ½ cup orange juice

  • 3

    tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

  • 2

    tablespoons cider vinegar

Step 1 of 4

Brown Pork

5-6
pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks and patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼
cup extra-virgin olive oil

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Season the pork with salt and pepper and toss. In a large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking.


Add a third of the pork in an even layer and cook without stirring until well browned, about 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip the pieces and cook without stirring until well browned on the second sides, about 5 minutes.


Transfer to a medium bowl and brown ½ of the remaining pork using the oil remaining in the pot, then transfer to the bowl. Add the remaining pork to the bowl; it does not need to be browned.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients

1
large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
½
teaspoon kosher salt
1
cup dry white wine
1
tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3
bay leaves
2
teaspoons dried oregano
1
tablespoon fennel seeds
¼
cup honey

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pot. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.


Add 1 tablespoon rosemary, the bay, dried oregano, fennel seeds and ¼ cup honey. Return the pork and any juices to the pot, pour in ¾ cup water, and stir. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until a skewer inserted into a piece of pork meets no resistance, 2 to 2½ hours.

Step 3 of 4

Reduce Sauce

½
cup orange juice
¼
cup honey

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl and cover to keep warm. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible.


Stir in the orange juice and remaining ¼ cup honey. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until a spatula drawn through the liquid leaves a trail, about 10 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Finish and Serve

1
tablespoon grated orange zest
1
tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2
teaspoons dried oregano
2
tablespoons cider vinegar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Off heat, stir in the orange zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, the fresh oregano and the vinegar. Return the pork to the pot and stir to coat with the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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