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Friday, July 2, 2010

Easy Roasted Pork Shoulder

Recently we attended a relative’s open house to see their finished home remodel. This was a potluck meal and I made artichoke nibbles to share. The hosts had prepared shredded pork shoulder and heated it for serving in a crock-pot. There were small slider buns available to make shredded pork sandwiches, which we all enjoyed.

I thought having the shredded pork was fortuitous, as I had just seen the Easy Roasted Pork Shoulder recipe in our daily paper the Oregonian’s weekly food insert. Fortunately, I saved that page, as I can no longer find a reference online. At Costco our super-mega-mart, I purchased one of the smaller bags of pork shoulder, took it home, and put it in the refrigerator.

This recipe is very easy as there are just 4 ingredients, pork shoulder, salt, pepper and 1 /2 cup of water. I spread newspaper on top of the countertop to catch any stray pork juice. I cut the bag containing the pork from the top and removed what I found was two pieces of pork inside and placed them in a roasting pan that I had coated with cooking spray. Cutting the bag from the top kept all the extra liquid inside and I only got one drop of stuff on the newspaper. Easy cleanup without contaminating the kitchen with raw pork juice.

Following the recipe, I placed the pork with the fat side up in the pan and using a sharp knife, I scored the fat in a diamond pattern trying to be careful not to cut into the meat. I sprinkled the top liberally with salt and pepper and added the water to the pan.

I heated the newly cleaned oven to 450 degrees and put the roasting pan with the pork on a lower rack to cook uncovered for 45 minutes. I noticed when I walked near the kitchen that there was a wonderful smell of cooking pork, but not a greasy smell. Once the time was up, I removed the roasting pan, turned the oven to 350 degrees, and covered the roasting pan with aluminum foil and placed the pork back in the oven for 4 hours to bake until the meat was tender.

After the four hours were up, I moved the roasting pan to the top of the stove and removed the foil. When I tested it with a fork, the meat just flaked apart. I removed as much of the fat from the meat as I could. I found that to keep the pieces of pork to a reasonable size, I cut the two pork pieces in half across the grain. I started removing pieces of the pork with a fork and transferring it to a large metal bowl. There I used two forks to shred the pork into bite-sized pieces. It took me about half an hour, but that was ok as I was enjoying listening to a book on tape: This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You On T.V. by Bob Schieffer. Though right then he was discussing Bill Clinton and the Starr report – Ugh.

We had hot shredded pork for dinner, I mixed mine with a little Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce, and my wife had hers plain. This is an easy recipe to make and it tastes great. The article in the paper had a few recipes for using the shredded pork: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw, Pork Shoulder Ragu, and Pulled Pork Tacos. We still have a very large bowl of shredded pork and I may try some of these recipes.

The recipe in the paper said the pork can be stored for three days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. We will eat some in the next few days, and I will vacuum seal the remainder into two quart sized bags and freeze it until needed.

If you like shredded pork, this is a great and inexpensive way to make your own.

If you would like the recipes from the paper, email me and I will send you a copy.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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