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Jan 14, 2012 06:50 PM

Cooking Pork Shoulder?

I'm having people over next week for dinner and have a pack of pork shoulder (individual portions in one pack from Costco) in the freezer. I'm new to cooking and have never cooked any pork product other than bacon. I do have a big Le Creuset french oven that my husband bought me over the holidays. Can I stack the pork shoulder pieces in there and let it cook for a an hour or two? Should I add liquid to the pot? Will it turn out like pulled pork? Any recipes or suggestions on cooking would be appreciated!

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  1. Good choice. Pork shoulder is very forgiving because of its succulence. Yes a braise should have a small amount of seasoned liquid. You can slowly braise it in almost anything. Recipes for braised pork use anything from bock beer, capers and milk, wine, soy based liquid (chinese red cooking) one french recipe even calls for grilling after braising to add crispness. There are a million recipes, once you decide on the flavor you want.

    1. An hour or two will produce disappointing results.

      A bit of water, salt, seasonings of your choice, and a good lid. Oven 275-300 degrees. About five hours.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandylc

        Agreed. I've had excellent results this way, with a few pounds of pork shoulder and seasoning in my le crueset. Check after a few hours and keep cooking until it falls apart. When it falls apart it's done.

      2. How thick and big are the pieces? Are there bones? That might help with cooking ideas. Any idea of what you might like to serve? You could go the pulled pork direction or a carnitas taco idea.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Terrie H.

          The pieces are maybe an inch thick at most and they are maybe 4-5 inches long. If they weren't in the bottom of the freezer downstairs, I would go check.
          I'm thinking pulled pork would be good with a BBQ sauce and cornbread. I found this recipe, but it's roasted, using a roasting pan which I do not have.

          1. re: jllc30

            Not sure, but sounds like you may have "boneless country style pork ribs", which are just cuts from the shoulder end, cut to look like ribs. Would cook like cuts of shoulder anyway

            1. re: malabargold

              Thanks! I checked the package and it just says pork shoulder. I was searching for a recipe and came across this one for tacos. The pork I bought looks just like the pork they are using, so maybe it is the rib meat. There aren't any bones.


              1. re: jllc30

                Yes, you have pork shoulder, its just been cut up into thick strips. Sometimes these are labeled boneless country style ribs, just because they are cut into strips that vaguely resemble ribs in shape, but it is still shoulder meat and any recipe calling for cut up shoulder should work fine

                1. re: jllc30

                  You might consider cutting it in chunks, braising it on very low heat (I prefer the oven on 250f) in small amount of liquid with garlic, then putting it on higher heat on the stove to crisp in the fat that was rendered while it cooked. That moist meat with the crispy outside is one of the most delicious things ever.

                  1. re: jllc30

                    If you have in your freezer what we have in ours, and ours also came from Costco, 4 cryovac packs of pork in one larger package, it has been 'enhanced' with a salt solution. You don't need to add much liquid to your braise, I'd just add some sliced onions. Brown the pork, put the onions on the bottom of a dutch oven or a roaster pan with a cover, add the pork and braise for several hours until it is quite tender.

                    I bought this Costco product because I thought the smaller packages of pork would be handy as opposed to a 10# pork shoulder. I would rather have a larger piece of pork rather than several smaller pieces. (It's not just one piece of pork per package, it's a couple small pieces). The package actually calls it 'sirloin' but it cooks like shoulder.

            2. Pork shoulder is very easy to cook. It has enough fat and favor that it is difficult to overcook it. I don't think you can get "pulled pork" by cooking it in a Dutch Oven. You need to smoke it and barbecue it on an indirect heat source.

              1. I will 100% vouch that this recipe is wonderful, rustic, and OH SO DELICIOUS! Perfect for easy entertaining.