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Need help! If you have made a pork shoulder roast/pernil, please respond!

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I have a NY Times recipe for pernil that I was planning on trying Sunday after xmas. Have an almost parallel recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. This is a cut of meat that I am not familiar with, but I went to a great pork store in NYC (where we live) and I wound up with pork shoulder, but there is no bone-in and no skin, this was likely a huge error on my part. Can I basically follow a classic pernil recipe for this cut of meat and wind up with something edible but without the crispiness that the skin would have provided? In other words, can I score this cut of meat and throw a paste on it, let it marinate for a while and get something edible? Am in a bit of a panic, do not want to substitute spaghetti and meatballs and I need some hound help!

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  1. A quick internet search revealed several pernil recipes using boneless pork shoulder.

    1. Pork shoulder can be sold with or without skin or bone. Reel yourself back in....no need to panic, just make it per your method and it will taste fine.

      1. Depending how much your roast has been trimmed, scoring may not have any purpose with decorative presentation. If there is a layer of fat still attached, it will help self baste the roast, a good thing. Even with a high heat blast, the scoring may or may not provide a nice visual presentation. Searing first, may also ruin the scoring pattern

        If you remove the fat layer, you could still roast with it re-attached with twine, When the roast nears completion, remove the twine and fat.....then roast the final hour or so with a high heat blast to create a bark.....you may also want to re-apply some seasoning when you remove the fat .

        1. If there is no fat cap you should not score - just make slits and press in as much of the paste as you can. You will also need to be careful not to dry it out. You might want to either get some caul fat or bacon and tie that on.

          A better alternative preparation for a skinless shoulder would be to use moist heat - either a full-fledged braise or roasting covered with some vegetables and just a half inch or so of liquid.