I am planning to make Pork Tamales with Mole Negro this Sunday, but I have used all of the roast pork I had in my freezer. As a result, I need to roast some pork this week. If I am going to spend hours, if not days, making roast pork I see no reason to cook only a pound or two for the one meal. Go big, there are lots of things you can do with left over roast pork. It is a sad task, but someone will have to eat it.
I have always had trouble cooking pork. If you use a high heat the pork muscle knot up and squeeze all of the moisture out of the meat. Looking online for the secret of good roast pork the opinions are all over the place and feelings run strong. This is not a subject to bring up in the kitchen (too many sharp knives ready to hand). Do you cook high-and-fast or low-and-slow? Do you tent the meat or cook it uncovered? Do you use a wet marinade or a dry rub? When is the pork “done,” 160°, 170°, 200°, somewhere in the middle of that range? The list goes on and everyone seems to have their own opinion.
I am just starting to feel my way around roasting pork. My last attempt was Cuban Pulled Pork. I left the fat on and covered the meat with a thick wet layer of garlic, onions and citrus. I Roasted it uncovered and used a very low temperature (250°). After four hours the meat was barely starting to cook and I had to crank up the heat to have it done in time for dinner. While the meat was tender and flavorful, the citrus crust was still soggy and the fat cap was just gross and had to be scrapped off.
For this roast I am using a dry rub, a higher temperature and covering the roast for part of the cooking time.
Note after dinner: Did this experiment work well! This produced moist, flavorful, literally falling off the bones tender meat with a good crust. I now have many pounds of leftovers for my tamales on Sunday and twice cooked pork on another night.
Karl’s Slow Roasted Pork
7-10 lb. pork shoulder
Karl’s Pork Roast Rub
12 cloves garlic
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup Madera
1. Remove the fat cap from the pork shoulder, in as large of pieces as you can. Try not to cut into the meat. Reserve the fat.
2. Rub the meat with the spices, wrap in plastic and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Set the meat on the counter in the morning, to warm to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 500°.
5. Mince or course press the garlic.
6. Spread the onion, celery, and apple in the bottom of a large roasting pan and add the Madera.
7. Unwrap the meat and place it on top of the vegetables.
8. Spread the garlic over the top of the roast and cover it with the reserved fat pieces.
9. Place the roast, uncovered, in the oven and after 10 minutes turn the oven down to 300°.
10. After 2 hours, insert a meat thermometer and cover the roasting pan tightly with tin foil.
11. When the internal temperature reaches 170°, turn the oven down to 170°. Carefully uncover the roast as the liquid in the pan may be threatening to over flow.
12. Drain most of the pan liquid and remove most of the vegetables. Do not disturb the roast as it will be falling apart at this point. Recover the pan and keep the roast at this temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
13. Use a fat-separator to de-fat the pan liquid and reserve the lard for later use. You may use some of the pan liquid instead of chicken broth in making your stuffing or use it for pork gravy by adding a tablespoon of all purpose flour mixed with some of the lard and Maderia.