Photo: Rob Culpepper; Styling: Hagen Stegall 
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 55 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 3 ounces pork, about 1/3 cup kale, and about 1/3 cup apples)

Settle in tonight for a cozy, comforting dinner of Smothered Vinegar Pork Shoulder with Apples and Kale. The pork is wonderfully tender and the kale-apple mixture provides the perfect complement to this the meal.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°.

Step 2

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Step 3

Add remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return pork to pan. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Add kale to pan; cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil; swirl to coat. Add apples; cook 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add vinegar and brown sugar; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves and liquid almost evaporates. Serve apples with pork and kale mixture.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

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Ratings & Reviews

SO Dang Good 👌😊

April 17, 2016
Hubby and I absolutely loved this one! I browned my 2.5 lb roast & onions on the stove in a regular pan. Moved to a black roasting pan & ended up cooking for an additional 20 mins so it was more like pulled pork. Removed the kale & onions, leaving most of the liquid in the pan. Shredded up the pork, added the apples and mixed well with the liquid so the pork soaked it up. That'll fix anyone's issues with the pork lacking flavour! Delicious!

Very good

December 22, 2015
We really liked this. The 2 hour cooking time result in a tender, sliceable roast. I think a longer time might be needed for a pull-apart effect, but that might be because my roast was 3 lbs.  Loved the sauce, though added 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar at the finish for a little extra tang. I made this the first night with kale and sweet potatoes, then we ate it a second night with polenta and roasted apple & brussel sprouts. Didn't make the apple side that's part of the recipe. I did take the seasoning mix and rub it into the pork, then let the pork rest a half hour before starting the cooking process. Then I added the same amout of seasoning to the sauteed onions. As written, the seasonings seem a bit sparse, though again that might be because my roast was 3 lbs.  Please buy only certified humanely raised pork.

Fall Veggies

November 06, 2015
Umm. A meal in one dish. Apples, Kale, pork. Great. Flavors mellow.


October 21, 2015
Made to recipe with just one minor change: added a bit more chicken broth to moisten the onions before stirring in the kale.  We should have checked before the last 30min were up, because the kale was way overdone.  Still tasted amazing but should have come out earlier.  Great autumn dinner. 

srwfromorange's Review

November 19, 2014
made this last night & it is truly comfort food. I read all the previous reviews & decided if the pork was bland then it needed a rub. I was leary at first of using the Allspice, only because I don't have a lot of experience with it, but mixed it with the salt,, pepper & cumin & rubbed the meat & let it sit for about 15 minutes before I seared it in the Dutch Oven. Other than that I prepared the recipe as written. It was delicious!!! I served it with mashed potatoes, my husband ate 3 helpings. I tasted it today & the flavors have all meshed & its even better. Yum, thank you Cooking LIght for creating another "keeper"

jmeleeS's Review

April 07, 2014
Excellent dish! I just made this winner recently and it's perfect for these months where it's not quite warm enough to leave comfort food behind. Prep / total hands on time is about 20 minutes (longest time being in browning the meat) so this is a great option when you are super busy but want a quality meal. A few modifications: 1) our shoulder was ~4 lbs total (bone-in) but cook time didn't change; 2) I added more liquid to compensate for the larger shoulder, but in the end, I don't think it needed the extra liquid; 3) added 1 tbsp. of smoked paprika and coriander in lieu of allspice & 1/2 tsp of ground red pepper to the base & 4) thinly sliced my garlic to melt into the liquid in lieu of mincing. I also did not do the apple step and served with garlic smashed red potatoes. What a wonderful meal! The pork was tender with an addictive vinegar undertone and the potatoes had a ready made "gravy" from the sauce. Wouldn't hesitate to serve for a crowd; it's a keeper! Enjoy!

alphabetizing's Review

February 02, 2014
Made this during an ice storm and it was FANTASTIC. Warming, delicious. The KALE honestly ended up the superstar in this recipe. It soaked up all the other flavors in the pot and was so tender and amazing. My boyfriend teased me for how much I was raving about it, and he is stubborn to accept kale... he tried it and apologized and was like "YOU'RE RIGHT IT'S AMAZING." Haha. Definitely a good recipe, will use again! Perfect for cold weather. If I could manage prettier presentation, I would serve for guests, even.

Catherine1982's Review

January 08, 2014
My husband was adamant that he didn't like kale. This recipe changed his mind. Yay! Cooking Light!

drnana's Review

January 03, 2014
This was delicious...Hubby LOVED it!! Will make again right away. Perfect for winter dinner, warm, cozy,comfort food with great flavor. This one is a winner.

dmleach's Review

December 12, 2013
The kale, onions and apples were great, but unfortunately they carry all the flavor in this dish. The pork roast, while wonderfully tender, is all but flavorless without any marinade or rub.