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Roasting a Pork Shoulder


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I got hired (coerced?) into cooking for a friend's holiday party. She wanted a roast, and the best looking meat I found within her budged was a 5+ pound boston butt.

I've braised a bunch of these, but never roasted. In fact I don't know if I've ever had a roasted pork shoulder. I'm guessing there's a range of possible textures you can achieve, from sliceable to fall-apart tender.

I'm only familiar with the latter, from braising. Does anyone have experience with cooking = boston butt to the point where it's tender but still intact? I want to make sure all the toughness is gone, but I think we can have a nicer presentation if it can be sliced. Is this a reasonable goal for this cut?

I'm planning to cook in a low oven, let it rest on the subway, and blast a nice crust on it before serving.

Notes from the underbelly

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I don't know about roasting such a tough cut. I suppose you could roast it dry for a long time, similar to smoking it.

Molly Stevens Caribbean Pork is the best I've ever done, even though it's a braise, it's still slicable at the end and because you put the whole thing in a 475 oven at the end on a cookie sheet, that fat crisps up very nicely and makes a great presentation.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Since it is composed of meat, fat, gristle, cooking to tender makes it fall apart. We always use it for 'pulled pork' or things similar.

At Sams Club, you can find a whole loin section for around $2/# and if studded with garlic spears, anchovy pieces, seasoned and then roasted until medium rare, letting it rest, presents a nice presentation slices very nicely. Cold it makes great sandwiches.-Dick

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I just roasted a bone-in pork shoulder yesterday. It took about 3 1/2 hours at 300 but it was only 2 lbs. When it's tender enough, it can be still sliceable, to an extent. Because of the way a shoulder breaks down, you can't really get nice round slices as you can from a loin. It can but sliced, but some of it will fall apart. Also, because of the long cooking time, you get a decent crust at 300.

nunc est bibendum...

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My suggestion would be to stuff it and roast it. You might get some inspiration from this Accidental Hedonist recipe:

http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.ph...1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

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I roast whole shoulders for big parties fairly often. I debone and butterfly (leaving as much fat on as possible) a day ahead, season the inside heavily as for porchetta (fennel, garlic, s+p and maybe some other stuff), roll and tie. This gets you a long, fairly even tube shape that's good for slicing, and the day in the fridge allows the seasoning to penetrate.

Remove from fridge an hour before cooking. Cook in a very slow oven until about 140F internal, then pull and rest, tied, for at least 1/2 hour.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I'm not hot on a roasted shoulder because its structure needs longer timing than a "roast." That said, you might want to check out Judy Rodger's recipe for Mock Porchetta from the "Zuni Cafe Cookbook." Very tasty indeed.

Margaret McArthur

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The San Francisco Chronicle food section has a current recipe for raost pork shoulder with farro-squash stuffing. Looks like they sliced it nicely and the grain/squash combo sounds great, too. www.sfgate.com in the food section.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Sure you can do it no problem.

I find that if you do not wrap the roast you get the cuttable texture you are going for. Wrapped, you get pulled pork.

Take a look at Bourdain's pallete du porc recipe. It comes out tender and sliceable. Should give you an idea on temps and times.

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I've been reading up on slow roasting at very low temperatures, and this sounds like a candidate for that type of cooking.

In her book The Slow Mediteranean Kitchen Paula Wolfert has a recipe for "Day and Night Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder" that calls for baking a 6-7 lb Boston butt for approx. 12 hours at 180 F (after an initial 45 minute blast at 450 F). The roast is ready when the internal temperature reads 170-175 F.

Has anyone else tried this or a similar recipe? I've been thinking of trying this technique, so if you go ahead with something like this, I'd be very interested in the results.


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i love pork shoulder. better with the bone in roasted at 250 F for about 6 hours. take it out at 140 F internal and rest for a half hour. adios the bone inside and slice. skin gets like chucharones if you jack the heat at the end for twenty minutes.

M

NYC

"Get mad at them eggs!"

in Cool Hand Luke

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Here's a topic I started about roasting shoulder - in this case, pernil, but I've done the same with boston butt and had excellent results.

The problem I find with most of the commercial pork is that it really is lacking a bit in flavor, which an overnight marinade or rub helps mitigate. Doing it in the Cuban/islands style (e.g. sour orange) really adds a nice punch. And letting it cool before slicing, and then reheating the slices in the jus, helps keep the slices nice and neat looking.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My suggestion would be to stuff it and roast it. You might get some inspiration from this Accidental Hedonist recipe:

http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.ph...1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

This kind of thing has never been my style, so I decided to go for it!

Had some fun with a boning knife disassembling the shoulder and turning it into a boneless, 2 foot long rug.

I improvized the stuffing with some of the pork trimmings, a but end of Jamon Iberico that I stumbled upon, some mushrooms, shallots, bread, and a splash of white wine.

Next up is some sauce. I'm planning to make a jus with some stock and roasted pork bones and mushrooms. And I have some blackberries ... maybe I can work that in somehow to brighten up the flavors. Mushrooms, sage, and blackberries? Maybe?

Roast is in the oven now at 220 degrees. I'll try to get some pics and report on how it goes.

Notes from the underbelly

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It came out great. just what I was hoping for ... tender enough to be succulent, but not disintegrating. so it could be sliced. and eaten with a knife and fork.

I ended up doing the first roast at 220 degrees, which took a bit over an hour/lb. Pulled out of the oven just below 148 degrees.

A couple of hours later (at friends house) put in a preheated roasting pan in a 500 degree oven, and pulled out when center hit 148. Rested about 20 minutes.

It would have been easier with a shorter wait between the low and high ovens. The interior temp dropped to 122, and it took a long time to warm up. The smoke detector had to be dismantled in the mean time.

The surface was nicely crisped, but unfortunately the long browning time burnt the pan drippings so I couldn't use them in the sauce. But the sauce was nice with the sage and blackberries.

I'm waiting for a friend to send pics.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 3 weeks later...

I must admit, I have never cooked a pork shoulder...however, Lowbaw has a sale on them and I was thinking of picking up a 2-3 pound'er in hopes of making some pulled pork and then seasoning for either BBQ style dinner or Mexican.

If someone could direct me to a recipe that will make it amazingly tender and pullable, that would be appreciated.

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I must admit, I have never cooked a pork shoulder...however, Lowbaw has a sale on them and I was thinking of picking up a 2-3 pound'er in hopes of making some pulled pork and then seasoning for either BBQ style dinner or Mexican.

If someone could direct me to a recipe that will make it amazingly tender and pullable, that would be appreciated.

Should you think about Mexican, what about Carnitas?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 1 month later...

I'd appreciate suggestions for using a fresh pork shoulder (bone in) with the hock. I guess it's the hock that's throwing me as a boneless pork shoulder is one of my absolute favorite pieces of meat for making Italian, Chinese or Mexican dishes.

I've got a great local sale (.99 cents/lb) and I'd like to buy a couple to play with. Since they come with the skin on and a layer of fat am I obviously removing these or can I do a low and slow in the oven with a nice batch of seasoning?

I'm not set up for BBQ which would seem to be the classic way to go.

I'm open to any cuisine if there is one that uses this cut a lot.

Thanks!

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Having tried Heston Blumenthal's 20hr fore-rib of beef a week or two back, I thought I'd give a bone in pork shoulder a go with the very low and very slow this weekend.

Well scored skin and a good rub down with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper was the only help it had.

I had the oven set at 65ºC (measured with a decent digital thermometer) and left the blade in there for 12 hours.

Once the core temperature of the pork has reached 65ºC, it stays there and doesn't overcook at all... just gets very, very tender.

I turned the oven up to 250ºC for a final 30 minutes (ish) to brown the outside off and crisp up the skin which I removed for this bit.

Moist... succulent... tender... perfectly done... pick your own adjectives, it was gorgeous. Served it up with an apple gravy, roast spuds and broccoli.

:cool:

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