For months I have waited. Two weeks ago my wait came to an end – pork shoulder was back in stock at the grocery store and on sale for about $2.80/pound!
I suppose this is how a discount grocery chain operates – deliver different products on a cycle so that the meat section isn’t over-stocked (thus reducing waste). This also provides variety in a smaller store (like the No Frills where I shop).
That works for me – I get variety without planning on it. The pork was so inexpensive that I bought two roast. I cooked one last weekend and put the other in the freezer. The roast was such a success that I made careful notes so I could bring you the recipe this week.
During dinner my partner, Christiaan, said. “This is fucking delicious! Can I have more?” He had only eaten half his dinner and was asking for seconds! Score for Darren and his spice-ology magic!
Spices left to right (top): Bay leaves, fresh ground black pepper, cumin, Spanish paprika.
Left to right (below): Celtic sea salt, red chili flakes (above), cayenne pepper, chili powder.
But even before we sat down to dinner someone else expressed his appreciation…
Our dog Reggie, returning from his walk with Christiaan, ran, rather he absolutely tore as fast as he could from the front door into the kitchen, practically knocking over a chair, panting and salivating. He promptly sat like a very good dog expecting a special treat! What the hell?
All day the poor dog had to endure the delectable aroma of pork shoulder roasting in the slow cooker. I’m surprised he didn’t jump up on the counter, remove the lid and dig in (which he has done before when I mistakenly left his food to defrost on the counter)!
Reggie sat watching as I carefully removed the elastic string that holds the roast together. I cut and separated the roast, removing any large bits of fat. I mixed all the discards into Reggie’s dinner bowl along with his raw boar-meat patties. What a loved and lucky dog!
Pork shoulder is usually held together with an elastic string or mesh to keep it from falling apart and to cook evenly. Slow cooking pork shoulder is the easiest method to make the classic pulled pork. This roast is tender, juicy and flavourful when done. The amount of moisture in the meat makes it fall apart easily. You can slice it, but it’s easier to almost “chip away” at it with your knife and it will break apart in classic pulled pork fashion.
When the roast is cooked there will be a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pot. This will be a mixture of the moisture from the vegetables, the apple, the lemon juice, and the pork itself. There will also be a certain amount of fat.
It’s up to you if you want to enjoy the juice with the roast. If you are going to serve dinner when the slow cooking is complete, I like to use a slotted spoon to lift out the vegetables and serve them onto the plate. I will arrange some pork on the plate and then spoon some of the juice over the meat and vegetables.
You could discard about half the liquid if there’s too much, but that would be a terrible waste of perfectly delicious juice and a flavourful addition to a soup. So don’t throw it away – instead remove what you don’t want and freeze it until you need it.
Another option is to drain the juice to make a thicker sauce. Put the vegetables into a large colander or strainer and place over a pot to drain. Gently lift the vegetables from the bottom with a wooden spoon to help strain the liquid. When ready, reduce the liquid in a cast-iron or heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high to high heat. Slowly and continuously stir. It will take 5 to 10 minutes to reach your desired consistency.
That’s if you want to be all fancy pants! Screw that if you don’t have the time. Just serve those veggies with a slotted spoon like I suggested above, sit your butt down and try not to bite your lip in pleasure, because your dinner is so damn delicious!
Serve the pork roast on a plate with the vegetables, perhaps some rice, quinoa or potatoes.
Really hungry? I toasted a nice piece of Rudolf’s Bavarian multi-grain bread and put it on a large plate. I added two thin slices of mozzarella cheese, piled it high with pork, drizzled over some of the juice and served it with about two cups of the vegetables.
Eat well to be well!