Earlier this month we drove up to Kenosha Pass for a bike ride through the trees. We were not alone-- the lot off of the Colorado Trail was packed even by 9 in the morning, a bustle of people, dogs, and babies getting ready for the trail.
Once we started up the trail the crowds thinned; on bikes we were able to get ahead of the walkers and wanders. After an initial thirty minutes of hill climbing, it was more than just the altitude taking our breath away: the vast aspen groves were golden yellow, sometimes red. The valley was washed in buckets of fall light, and the skies were a perfect lapis blue, dotted with fluffy clouds.
"This is the part where you just want to die and go to heaven," my mom said. (At first I thought she might mean there is another big hill, i.e., You'll want to die trying to bike up this thing! but then I took in everything around me and thought, Yes, I could stay awhile.)
At home, a slow cooker full of cider braised pork-- homey, slightly sweet, fall-apart tender- awaited our hungry post-ride stomachs. Honestly, at that point we were so hungry anything would've done the job but then and I thought: This is what September feels like.
Serves: 4 | Total Time:
- 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- 2-3 large carrots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup apple cider (hard cider or apple juice)
- 2 cups bone broth
- 2 springs each thyme and rosemary
- Salt & Pepper
- Heat coconut oil in the bottom of a pan or your Instant Pot. Place pork in pot, and brown on all sides. If you are browning meat in a separate pot, place the pork in your slow cooker/Instant Pot now.
- Mince garlic. Chop onion into wedges, slice carrots into rounds, and dice celery. Place all in the slow cook. Pour cider and broth in. Season with salt & pepper, and top with thyme & rosemary springs. Set slow cooker on low setting and cook for 10 hours (set Instant Pot to slow cooker setting).
- Optional: after stew is done cooking, spoon it into an oven-safe dish (such as a cast iron pot) and place under broiler for 5-10 minutes, to brown the top of the pork a bit more. Serve hot over sweet potato mash!