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Jun 25, 2010 11:20 AM

More Pork Shoulder Questions

I think I posted something about a pork shoulder some time ago and have since made 3, all of which came out well but had very distinct flavors. The first one I did with just a generic rub of salt, pepper, rosemary, etc. The second was a pernil, and the third I invented an italian style wet/dry rub/stuffing type thing and that came out well too.

My problem is that I have another 10 pounder ready to go and I'd like to prepare it in a way that I can use it for several different things over the next week or so. I.e. carnitas tacos, bbq-ish pulled pork, pork ragu, etc. Thus, I'd like the flavor to be bold in some way but also generic.

I was thinking about doing a sort of americanized sofrito with some onions, garlic, vinegar, etc and stabbing/stuffing the whole thing with it. Maybe rubbing something all over the top as well. I tend to almost completely detach the skin and stab/stuff, rub the top, and then reattach the skin w kitchen string.

Does anyone have a recipe or suggestion for something like this?

Also, if anyone has a great pernil recipe please shout it out!


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    1. my suggestion was gonna be for pulled pork too. freeze it for later use in smaller packages then you can defrost as you need it. it's just so easy, really not much to do or worry about and a crock pot here is your best friend.

      1. re: iL Divo

        I second IL Divo's motion!

        Before we had our kitchen renovated, we had an old oven that had failed timing devices. Therefore, we placed an 8 to 10 pound picnic shoulder in a old-fashioned blue enamel roasting pan on a rack that fit in the pan. The pan was covered and put in the 275 degree preheated oven around midnight. The shoulder slow roasted while we slept and at about 7 a.m. it was removed from the oven. Allow the meat to cool, and hand shred the meat.

        My wife then froze the shredded meat as suggested by IL Divo. When we wanted to serve the pulled pork, we prepared a thin BBQ sauce in which we heated the defrosted meat. The meat was served on crusty rolls.

        Altho we now have 2 fully functional ovens, we still roast the meat at night while we sleep. We do not like to be confined to the house for 7 daylight hours while the meat roasts, and we will not leave the house while food is being cooked in the oven. Call us old-fashioned, but safety conscious.

    2. I don't think you can go too far wrong with Dijon, perhaps with some sage, garlic and thyme. I did something similar, using the Zuni recipe but changing up the dry rub ingredients, and it came out great -- days of delicious and versatile leftovers!

        1. re: tommy

          Agreed. Pork shoulders have tons of flavor on their own. And if the plan is to use it as an ingredient in future dishes, you don't need to do anything to the meat. Just make sure you cook it properly (low and slow for 3-5 hours depending on the size of the meat and temp you use).

        2. I put the shoulder (seasoned with just S/P and maybe some Penzys BBQ of the Americas) into the slow cooker. Sometimes I'll put some onions and root beer or ginger ale or cola in there too. Sometimes not. Very easy and very forgiving.
          After I shred the meat I put it back into the slow cooker with some thinned out BBQ sauce (I love Sweet Baby Rays) and leave it in there to serve. Great for parties.

          1. Of course, the best thing to do is put it in the smoker with a little hickory or pecan on the fire and cook it at 225F or so to 195F internal.

            We've also done Rick Bayless' carnitas recipe, where he has you boil the shoulder in salted water to cook. Then you brown the meat in the skillet and add your chile sauce (and watch the pork soak up the sauce lightning fast). If you did this and didn't use quite as much salt as in the recipe, you also get a good broth for soup- we've made a soup with leftover smoked pork, hominy and green chiles from this.