1. Begin by chopping all of your veggies and preheating the oven to 150C. Dice the carrot, celery and onion into small cubes of about 1cm. Take your pork collar and cut into large chunks at least 2 inches thick. Place the pork on a tray lined with paper towels and allow to dry out in the fridge until ready to cook.
2. Lay out a square of cheese cloth, muslin or kitchen towel and arrange the thyme, sage, bay leaves, peppercorns and coriander seeds out over it. Roll up the cloth and tuck in the edges to form a bundle and fasten well with string to secure.
3. Place a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over high heat and allow to heat up for 3-4 minutes. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot well and heat until the oil begins to shimmer and the faintest wisp of smoke is visible.
4. Season the pork liberally with salt and lay into the hot pan a piece at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Work in batches if needs be. Once the pork is browned on one side, flip over and brown on the opposite side. Once well browned, remove from the pot and set aside in a bowl.
5. With the heat still on high, add the diced vegetables and coat well in the fat leftover from searing the pork. Season with a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the bundle of herbs and spices at this point. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally for 15 or so minutes; or until the vegetables are nicely browned. Reduce the heat to medium if things are browning too quickly.
6. Add the minced garlic and stir to combine, cook for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with 500ml of apple cider and scrape off any fond from the bottom of the pan.
7. Add the pork back to the pan and stir in to submerge it in the liquid as much as possible. Top up with a little bit more water or stock until the meat just about pokes through. Place a lid on the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.
8. After an hour, remove the lid from the pot and stir to coat the pork with braising juices. Cook for an additional hour.
9. After the second hour, taste the braising liquid to adjust the seasoning with salt and a few drops of apple cider vinegar but keep the seasoning light as it will reduce further throughout cooking. At this point you can add any additional chopped vegetables to the braise. These are being added later so that they still have some textual integrity in the finished dish. I had about 3 roughly chopped carrots leftover from another recipe and threw those in. Add additional ingredients like potatoes to turn the braise into a meal by itself. Allow to cook for another hour before removing the pot from the oven.
10. Check that the meat is tender by tasting or pulling it apart with a fork. If the sauce is too loose, remove the meat from the pot temporarily and strain the braising liquid into a pot. Either reduce the liquid till it is thick or add a slurry. To do so, dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn flour into a few tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add this slurry to the braising liquid and bring up to a boil. Once lightly thickened, remove from the heat and check if the sauce is at least thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
11. Combine back with your meat and veg, remove the bundle of herbs and you are ready to serve.
12. This will hold in your fridge for up to 3 days but I always like to store a portion or two in the freezer for the days when I want something comforting to come home to or to add to a nice plate of pasta with some braised meat.