This almond milk braised pork roast is a twist on the classic Italian slow-cooked dinner, delivering fall-off-the-bone bites of meat and a lush sauce that’s incredibly easy to make and destined to become a Sunday dinner favorite.
This post is brought to you by Almond Breeze
Do you ever really think about where your food comes from?
Sure, come summertime you may visit your local farmers market to pick up some fresh tomatoes and wander the aisles nibbling on samples of local fruit pricked with little toothpicks handed out by the local farmer’s 10 year old son, as you chastise yourself because you didn’t bring enough hard and fast cash money to buy a dozen ears of super fresh, super sweet local corn from your favorite stand.
Yup. I’ve been there.
But when was the last time really, really, sat down to think about where all of that food that feeds millions of mouths each week really comes from, and how in the heck is it grown on such a massive scale?
Well, as I recently learned, it is also grown by local growers thanks to the power of farming and its partnerships.
Last month I visited the farm-to-fork capital of the U.S., Sacramento, CA, a county rich with generations of agriculture producing locally grown food that feeds America from coast to coast. Perhaps no other company is more closely associated with Sacramento farming than Blue Diamond Almonds.
I was there with Blue Diamond to learn more about Blue Diamond Growers, the farming cooperative founded in 1910 by 230 almond growers and now owned by over half of California’s almond growers who produce over 80 percent of the world almond supply. The co-op makes it possible for small farmers to work together to maintain high standards and efficiencies that would be harder to achieve without the support of the co-op. Almonds are California’s largest food export and are found in over 90 countries. They’re also the sixth largest U.S. food export and the #1 specialty crop in America.
That’s a lot of nuts.
To see first hand and learn more, we visited Chamisal Creek Ranch, located in Sacramento Valley, Arbuckle, CA.. The ranch is owned and farmed by third generation farmer Michael Doherty, his wife Amy, and family. With the help of just 7 full-time employees, the Dohertys farm over 700 acres of land with 12 different varieties of almonds—plus a vineyard for producing their own wine.
We visited at the tail end of the 4 week bloom of the different varieties of trees that are most often grown not on their own roots, but on the stalks of peach trees for better strength and longevity. It’s just one part of diversifying the crops and their pollination so that the plants thrive in bloom and at harvest.
At Chamisal Creek Ranch and to all Blue Diamond growers, sustainability is key to their growth and success.
“Farmers are the first environmentalists because they’re the first to be tied to the ground,” explained Mel Machado, Director of Member Relations at Blue Diamond Growers. Newly installed solar powered irrigation systems that have eliminated the need for diesel powered engines are just one example of how at Chamisal Creek Ranch, innovations in water conservation—and much more—is what makes California almond growers the leaders in the future of agriculture, and producers of quality products like Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
Blue Diamond Growers grow the almonds that you’ll find in every carton of Almond Breeze Almondmilk. Almond Breeze is the only almondmilk brand that actually has the orchards within its own organization, rather than made with almonds purchased from other suppliers, making it’s quality the top of the food chain.
One thing I like so much about Almond Breeze is that thanks to it’s shelf-stable packaging, I can always have it on hand and ready to use by just pulling it from the pantry.
And that’s just one thing that makes this incredibly simple, slow roasted dinner a cook’s favorite.
The roast starts with a well-marbled cut of pork shoulder roast, or Boston butt. You can look for a boneless cut of this roast, but I’ve found it pretty hard to find. I typically buy a 5-pound roast with the bone still in, and a fat cap on one side. Seasoning the roast with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper is all the spice you’ll need before a simple stovetop searing of the roast on all sides—and the ends—to create that extra good flavor during the slow braise in the oven.
When choosing a pan to cook your roast in, be sure to choose one with a fitted lid for the best oven braise.
The only additional ingredients you’ll need are fresh sage leaves (I leave them on the stalk for easier fishing out once the roast is done), one head of garlic cut in half or cut at the top 1/3 of the head depending on the size of the cloves, and an optional chunk of Parmesan cheese rind if you happen to have one floating in the fridge looking for a place to go.
Then, simply pour a shelf-stable container of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original over the roast and in the pan, and bring to a boil. Fit with a lid and transfer to the oven for a 3 to 4 hour braise in the oven.
Using almond milk in this recipe infuses a deep richness to the pork that tenderizes it from the slow braise so it comes out so fall-off-the-bone-tender it literally shreds with each forkful. It also creates an incredible sauce so deep in flavor that when reduced down and thickened with just a bit of flour, it is truly lick-off-your-fingers good.
But be sure not to eat it all from the pan. Save some for serving with the pork and my favorite Buttery Parsley Potatoes.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 5-pound pork shoulder (Boston butt)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head garlic, with the top ⅓ trimmed (or cut the head in half if the cloves are large)
- 25-30 fresh sage leaves, or 5-6 stalks
- 1 2-inch chunk of Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1 32-ounce carton Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Season the pork shoulder on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large dutch oven or roasting pot with a fitted lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sear the roast on all sides for 3-4 minutes or until browned, including the ends. Transfer the roast to a platter and pour off the fat from the pan and wipe out any large remnants.
- Place the pork back in the pot with the garlic, sage leaves and Parmesan rind. Pour the almond milk over the pork and into the pan. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid, and place in the oven. Roast for 3 to 4 hours until very tender, basting the pork with the almond milk after the first hour, and then every 30-45 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest.
- Remove the garlic head from the sauce and use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove the small pieces of pork left behind and the sage leaves. Place the pot or dutch oven with the sauce on the stove and heat to medium high. Sprinkle the flour over the sauce and whisk in until smooth. Alternately, you can mix the flour with ¼ cup of the sauce in a small bowl or shake in a jar, then whisk into the sauce. Cook the sauce, stirring often, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Shred the pork and serve with the sauce, parsley potatoes and vegetable of your choice.
This post is part of a partnered series with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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