Monday, March 7, 2011

Roast Pork Shoulder

I was so confused on what to make for this week’s lunch. I knew I wanted to cook the Minestrone soup for dinner because of the cold weather but bringing the soup to the office is somewhat out of the question because of potential spillage issue. After browsing online, I decided to make Roast Pork Shoulder – which can be used for lunch with some kind of side vegetables and carbs or for the toppings on our dinner salad – using a recipe from this blog My husband cooks.

It seems that the trick of making a good roast of a big piece of meat are 1) marinate at least overnight and 2) cook it slow and steady in a low oven temperature. I knew about the importance of marinating but stupid me I didn’t read the whole cooking instructions on the site until Sunday afternoon when I found out that it needed to be cooked for 9-10 hours at 250F. After scrambling around to do some more online research while preheating the oven, I found out from Simply Recipes that I can cook it in a much shorter time and still get the caramelization that I want by first cook it uncovered in a 450F oven for 30 minutes and then cook it covered in a 325F oven for 3 hours. Phew! The roast pork shoulder turned out to be super tasty and moist – thanks to all those pork fat!

4 lbs pork shoulder (boneless)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup of dry white wine

  • In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and turmeric.
  • Pat dry the pork shoulder with paper towels and rub the seasoning mixture evenly over the pork shoulder inside and out.
  • Wrap the pork shoulder tightly in plastic wrap to hold the marinade against the skin, put it in a large bowl and marinate overnight. It will give up a cup or more of liquid so make sure your container is big enough to prevent spillage.
  • 1 hour before cooking, take out the pork shoulder from the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Place the pork shoulder on aluminum foil wrapper roasting pan (so it’s easier to clean) and roast uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the oven heat down to 325° and add the wine and cover the roasting pan with another sheet of aluminum foil and slow roast for 3 hours until the pork shoulder is very tender and pulls apart easily when probed with a fork. If you want, you can add some more white water every hour or so to baste the pork shoulder.
  • Transfer the pork shoulder to a serving plate and drizzle the pan juice over the meat.

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