Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pork Shoulder Surprise

I was sitting around the house in the early afternoon on Sunday trying to figure out something to make for dinner that night.  I was digging through my fridge and realized that I had about 5 pounds of pork shoulder left over from my pasta bolognese night.  I decided that I should probably cook that before it went bad, so off I went.

A good pork shoulder needs to sit with a rub for a few hours, so I needed to work fast.  I didn't have enough brown suger to make my normal rub, so I kind of made something up.  When I make pork shoulder, generally I will make my own barbeque sauce, but I had too much stuff to do during the day, so I settled on some Sweet Baby Ray's Hot & Spicy BBQ Sauce.  I usually baste the shoulder in my bbq sauce for the final two hours of cooking, but I was concerned that there was too much sugar in the Sweet Baby Ray's to do that, so I opted for a mop instead.

I will say that it is significantly better when smoked on the grill, but for doing it in the oven, this was very tasty.  Here is what I did.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup chile powder
1/4 cup ancho chile powder
3 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tspn cinnamon

1.  Stir all ingredients together in a bowl so they are well mixed.
2.  Rub generously on all sides of the pork shoulder.
3.  Let sit for at least 2 hours (and up to 12 hours) in the refrigerator.  Be sure to take it out of the fridge for the last hour and a half to bring it up toward room temperature.

Pork (serves 4-5)
5lb pork shoulder
1 1/2 cup apple cider

1. Preheat oven to 250
2.  Using cold water, wash the rub off of the pork belly.
3.  Pat the pork dry with paper towels
4.  Pour the apple cider into a roasting pan or oven-proof casserole dish
5.  Put pork belly into the pan or dish
6.  Put the pan in the oven and let sit for 7 hours, basting occasionally (every 30-45 minutes).  The pork should get up to at least 180 on a meet thermometer.

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup grain mustard
10 juniper berries
1 tbsp paprika

1.  Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
2.  For the last 2 hours of cooking, using a brush, glaze the pork shoulder with some of the mop.  You should use it all up by the end.
3.  Don't forget to continue basting with the fat that will render out of the shoulder.

To Finish
1.  Using 2 forks, pull the pork in opposite directions so that it shreds.
2.  Put some on a plate and toss with your favorite bbq sauce.

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