Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ultra-Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder (with Mojo Sauce)

I made a pork shoulder back in January (that I finally posted here on February 2nd because work was busy and I got lazy) and as soon as I took it out of the oven I started thinking about this recipe.  That recipe called for cooking a pork shoulder at 425 for 2 1/2 hours.  I was a little skeptical about the cooking method but thought it was worth a shot if it meant that I didn't have to spend ALL DAY slow roasting a pork shoulder.  Unfortunately, it just didn't work quite as well.  For the Super Bowl we decided to suck it up and revert to our usual low and slow cooking method.  I always find that low and slow works best for us on weekends when we don't have any other real plans so we can just hang out around the apartment all day and enjoy the smells of slow roasting meat.

We ended up using the pork shoulder in a number of different ways - tacos (with pickled red onions, cotija cheese, cilantro), fried rice, topping for arepas (with black beans (we actually used a can of black bean soup that we heated up and added the jalapenos to it), avocado, and pineapple salsa).  It is such a basic recipe that you can mix it up and use different sauces with the meat (or no sauce at all if you are a purist) and then use the meat for a million different meals.  We served our pork with a mojo sauce (also from Serious Eats) because I was feeling citrus-y and Latin American rather than BBQ/Southern. I loved the crispy skin and the overall tenderness and succulence of the pork.  We crushed up some of the skin and mixed it in with both the tacos and the arepas and it made for such a really nice textural contrast).  I know there are a million different ways to make pork shoulder, but this might be our new go-to.  It is just so versatile.    

P.S.  Alex and I thought that we had taken pictures of the tacos but it looks like the only pictures we took were of the giant hunk of meat itself.  Oops.  But at least you can see in the picture how crispy and blistered the skin got.  It was wonderfully "ultra crispy".

Recipes  after the jump!

Ultra-Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Available at Serious Eats

1 whole bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder, 8 to 12 pounds total
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 250°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil (see note) and set a wire rack inside it. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the wire rack. Season pork on all sides liberally with salt and pepper and place on parchment paper. Transfer to oven and roast until knife or fork inserted into side shows very little resistance when twisted, about 8 hours total.
Remove pork from oven and tent with foil. Let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. Increase oven to 500°F and allow to preheat. Return pork to the oven and roast until skin is blistered and puffed, rotating every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes total. Remove from oven, tent with foil and allow to rest an additional 15 minutes. Serve by picking in the kitchen or just bring it to the table and let guests pick meat and crispy skin themselves, dipping into sauce of their choice on the side (we used mojo sauce).

Mojo Sauce
Available at Serious Eats

8 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup fresh sour orange juice, or 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice and 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and work into a smooth paste.
In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, sour orange juice, oil, oregano, cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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