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Totally killer slow-roasted pork shoulder

So I finally had a reason to use the absurdly large pork shoulder I bought about a month ago. It was about 20 lbs - a full shoulder - at about $1 a lb. I couldn't resist.

Anyway. Party weekend. On Thursday night I trimmed off all the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat on the surface. Rubbed it generously (and I mean generously) with a dry rub (recipe in Bittman's How to Cook Everything - I think it's called somebody-or-other's rib rub), put it in the roasting pan, covered with plastic and refrigerated overnight. In the morning, I stuck it in the oven at 250o F and let it cook for about 10 hours. It may have gone a little longer - maybe 12 hours. Anyway, Friday night I served it hacked into chunks (it was falling apart tender) with the pan juices (skimmed of fat) and some side dishes. Unbelievably good.

After dinner, I took all the rest of it (we'd barely made a dent) and pulled it into shreds, removing as much visible fat as I could find. Refrigerated it. Saturday evening, the shreds were mixed with all the rest of the pan juices and some of a bottle of BBQ sauce (not tons - just enough for some flavour), Reheated in the crock pot until ready to eat (late in the evening) - I have to tell you people were going crazy. Served it on small buns with miscellaneous pickly, relishy things to put on it.

This is just about the biggest bang you can get for your buck. Almost no work, really, and insanely good. I had friends begging for the recipe.

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  1. Oh yes! Lately, pork shoulder has been my go to meal that my whole family will eat and it is so simple. Thanks for sharing your method, love trying new ways of preparing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocolate chick

      I do this a lot too - I've perfected the pulled pork though, by adding some vinegar (usually cider) in with the BBQ sauce. Gives it a deeper flavor. I'm not from NC either.

      1. Another reason to love pork. The only problem I believe you encountered is you over-paid for the meat. Full Shoulder Picnic and Leg cuts regularly go on sale for .59-.69/lb at my area supermarkets here in New Jersey.

        The only question I have is, what did you do with the bones?

        10 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          A whole pork shoulder for 59-69/lb? Wow!!! What is the name of that store?????

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Uncle Bob,

            Shop Rite Supermarkets. The three locations I shop at are:
            Rochelle Park on Passaic Street
            Hackensack on River Street and
            Paramus on State Highway #4 Eastbound

            All stores routinely run Manager's or In-Store specials and sales are not always advertised. You can go online I believe for a weekly flyer. The Manager's specials are not always items that are approaching a sale end date either. When the pork is not on sale, it's usually sold for $1.29-1.49.....still a good value. Half portions are always higher.

            I prefer the Paramus location for best. They also run Pork Loin Roasts, 4-6 ribs for $1.49 or less. When they are .99 cents. I usually gobble up three or four......I prefer the smaller ones for portion size. Simply cut in half and I have some great pork chops double/triple cut. When I do the roast, I slice the meat partially off the bones and re-tie the roast together.....that way I have a cheap spare/back rib portion as well.

            BTW.....the 59/69 special is at least once a month.

          2. re: fourunder

            You know, I was actually surprised at what a small amount of bones were in that gigantic thing. After the meat was removed, there was only a sort of scapula-shaped bit and something more arm-bony. Since it was so cooked to death, the meat just literally slid off and it was like one of those medical skeletons - not a scrap of anything left on it. Threw it out. I'm not allowed to give cooked bones to my dog.

            1. re: Nyleve

              Nyleve,

              Remember this word........Soup.....next time, add the bones and cartilage...even a little fat is acceptable and make a stock for soup or future soup. Never waste a good thing. I always find roasted bones from pork or chicken makes the stock seem a little more rich and flavorful.

              1. re: fourunder

                Oh I know - but honestly, there was absolutely nothing left on the bones. There was almost no discernable cartilage, the fat was really fatty. I always save stuff like that for soup. But thanks for the reminder.

            2. re: fourunder

              I don't know where your shopping, but I go right to the Restaurant Wholesale Supply House. The best I can do is $1.16/pound. Are you sure your buying Pork? Not Goat!!!!!!! Gutpyle!

              1. re: Gutpyle

                First, you make an observation on the prices I quoted from over 2 1/2 years ago...and you can't understand ShopRite?

                I was there again last night @ ShopRite and the pork shoulder was $1.19/b. Around these parts pardner, The Restaurant Depot sells twin packs of pork shoulder for .89-.99/lb day in and day out. You need to find a better wholesaler.

                  1. re: Gutpyle

                    I stock up when it goes on sale locally at the Ranch Market at 68 cents a pound.

                1. I love that rub recipe in Bittman's book; I use it on ribs all the time; it's a definate keeper.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DGresh

                    I usually make that stuff up by the double or triple batch and keep it in a large shaker. Phenomenal on ribs. I use smoked paprika instead of plain.

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      smoked paprika is the best---it just gives everything a unique zing and leaves people wondering what your secret is...

                  2. do you mind posting the rub recipe?? i have a pork roast langishing in the freezer...

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: asiansensation007

                      Gladly -

                      Just mix together:
                      1 tbsp. salt
                      2 tbsp. sugar
                      1 tbsp. ground cumin
                      1 tbsp. black pepper
                      1 tbsp. chili powder (I use cayenne or ground chilies)
                      2 tbsp. paprika (I use smoked)

                      This is a double recipe from the original, but I always keep some around to sprinkle on stuff. I've even used it on salmon fillets that were either baked or pan seared.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        Is that 1 tbsp. salt (no quantity in the original post was given)?

                        Thanks.

                        1. re: velvet jones

                          Oops - sorry. I edited it to fix.

                        2. re: Nyleve

                          SUGAR? in a rub. Is that normal?

                          1. re: marcharry

                            A great deal of BBQ rubs have sugar in it. Usually brown sugar.

                            1. re: marcharry

                              I think it helps offset the spiciness and adds to caramelization. All I can say is that it's delicious.