Pork Shoulder RoastPosted: October 13, 2011
Well, I don’t know how it’s looking in other places, but here in Seattle it is definitely fall. The change was very sudden. Nope, no gradual cool-down here, just one day it was summer and the next it was fall. The weather went from days in the 70′s (which, I am strongly against calling summer weather, but it’s what we got this year), to the 50′s, the leaves are turning, and the rain is here. This time of year is when I do my best to get cozy. This typically means more time spent indoors, kicking the fireplace on from time to time (which the pets love), and making meals that involve the oven or the stove top and longer cook times.
Although I love summer and will miss the sunshine, fresh salads with produce from my own garden and the shorts and sandals, fall has a way of making me feel ok about the weather changing, the days getting shorter and school starting. Drive down my street and you will be surrounded by bright red and deep purple trees, and we’ve even been blessed with a few crispy cold days that just beg for a fall stroll.
So what’s the first thing I think to make after the sudden season shift? Pork shoulder. Pork is my protein of choice (I know, I know- it’s not terribly healthy. But really, who cares??) and the shoulder has got to be my favorite part. It’s inexpensive, and all you have to do is pop it on the stove or in the oven and just let it do it’s thing. Pure delight…
Pork Shoulder Roast
salt & pepper
3-4 pound pork shoulder, bone-in. Make sure you get bone-in for two reasons. First, it’s typically more expensive to get a boneless roast, and second, the bone adds a ton of flavor!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cups chicken stock
1 medium white or yellow onion, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled
- Salt and pepper the pork shoulder. Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, put the pork into the pan and brown it on all sides (roughly 3 minutes per side). When you add the pork to the pan you should hear a beautiful crackle and sizzle sound and the room should pretty quickly be filled with that wonderful pork smell.
- Once the pork is browned add the broth to the pot. Add enough water to the pot to cover the top of the roast then add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil then turn the heat on low and cover. This is where the magic happens. You just set the timer and walk away.
- Cook the pork for roughly 1 hour per pound. I tend to check on the roast every hour or so and turn it just to make sure that it cooks evenly. The pork is ready to come out of the pot when it is fork tender (this is when you stick the center of the roast with a fork and it slides in without any, or at least very little, resistance). Toward the end of the cook time heat the oven to 450° F.
- When the pork is done, pull it out of the pot, toss the bone and put it on a foil-lined baking sheet (believe me- you want to cover your baking sheet with foil. Otherwise you may as well be ready to throw the pan out when you’re done). The roast at this point will be so amazingly tender that when you try and pull it from the pan it may fall apart. It can be frustrating, but just think about what that means: you have melt-in-your-mouth pork that is just minutes away from being ready to eat! Before you throw the roast in the oven drizzle it with a little olive oil, and if you want to add any additional spices go ahead. I typically add a little kosher salt and maybe some extra cayenne pepper if I’m in the mood for an extra kick. Toss it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to crisp up the outside. Be sure to keep your eye on it though because you can dry out the meat if it’s in the oven for too long. You can also broil the pork but once more, make sure you check on it! Once it has reached your desired crispness take it out of the oven and enjoy.