Fresh pork shoulder - need inspiration.

calilooMarch 31, 2012

I have a 5 lb fresh pork shoulder for tonight, and am looking for ideas. Usually I make Pulled Pork (BBQ type seasonings) but we are a little bored with that. Can you suggest other ideas for me? I am open to roasting, braising, stew, etc and since I plan to go shopping later, if there is an ingredient I don't have it isn't a problem.

5 lbs, fresh and "bone-in". What would you do with it?

Thanks in advance!


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Hi Alexa, I made Anne Burrell's asian braised shoulder last weekend and it was AWESOME. She has a quick radish/cucumber pickle that she serves it with, I just made a veggie stirfry with soba noodles for the side. I backed off the oyster sauce and it was still a bit salty. I'd probably just use a few tablespoons. And, I didn't use the start anise - didn't have any.


Extra-virgin olive oil
One 3-pound pork shoulder, cut into 4 to 5 pieces
Kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sambal oelek
3 star anise
Zest and juice of 1 orange, zest removed in wide strips with a peeler

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Coat a large wide ovenproof pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring the pan to high heat. Sprinkle the pork with salt and brown it on all sides. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Ditch the fat from the pan and add a few drops of fresh oil. Toss in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar and reduce by half. Add the 3 cups chicken stock, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sambal, star anise, orange zest and juice. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Taste to make sure it is delicious and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Return the pork to the pan, cover and put in the oven. Braise the pork for 2 hours, turning it over once. If the liquid reduces too much during the cooking process, add the remaining 1 cup chicken stock. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
When the pork is VERY tender, remove the pan from the oven. Remove the pork, place the pan over medium heat, bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces to a sticky sauce consistency.
Serve the pork draped with the sauce.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:43AM
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A few more details, her roast is boneless. She cuts the pieces cross grain, around 2" thick. My shoulder was bone in, so I boned it. I had a good roast shaped piece to slice up, then an odd piece that I just cut up and trimmed the fat from.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Thanks Christine!

I showed the recipe to the guys and they all said it sounds good, so I will give it a go. Bonus - I have everything in the house except the Soba noodles, and they is easy enough to grab the at the store this afternoon.

Sounds like a winner!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:11AM
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My fave is just covered with onions and cooked in a covered roasting pan, with a bit of liquid...maybe half a can of the bottom of the pan.
Roast at 300, like forever....6 hours...7 hours.
Just add more liquid so it doesn't completely dry out.....the fat cooks out, the onions become very dark as does the meat and it's tender as butter.
If you de fat the stuff in the pan the resulting brown "stuff" makes the best gravy!
No seasoning but onions and salt....
Linda c

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:19AM
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We love pork roast made this way in the slow-cooker. Has definite Asian flavours and is so good.

It does call for marinating overnite first, but I'm not 100% sure that it is absolutely necessary.

Slow-Cooker Sesame Pork Roast

1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup cider or white vinegar
4 green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Cut roast in half; place in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish.

In a bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, sesame seeds, molasses, vinegar, onions, garlic powder and cayenne. Pour half over the roast, marinate overnight. Reserve remaining marinade.

Drain pork, discarding marinade. Place roast in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add the reserved marinade. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce temperature to low; cook 8-9 hours longer or until meat is tender.

Remove the roast and keep warm. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir in cooking juices. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Serve with the roast.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:25AM
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I like to make it Yucatecan style; here is my recipe for that:

Cochinita Pibil


2-3 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder (turkey legs can be substituted)
4-6 cups water
2-3 oranges, sliced*
2-3 limes (or lemons) sliced*
8 cloves garlic
1 onion, cut in quarters
2 tbsp cumin*
2 tbsp achiote paste, crumbled*
1 tbsp oregano

For the Sauce
2 tbsp rendered fat (or combination of fat with olive oil and/or butter)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
2-3 serrano peppers (optional), seeds removed
2 cups reserved stock
2 tsp vegetable (or beef) soup base or 3/4 tsp salt, to taste


Wash the meat and place in a stockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the oregano, and bring to a boil on high heat. Put the oregano in a teaball or bouquet garni and add to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and allow to cook covered for two hours, or until meat begins to fall off the bones.

Turn off heat and allow the pot to stand covered for about 30 minutes more while the meat continues to cook. Strain off the liquid and reserve.

When the meat is cool enough (you can refrigerate it at this point), remove all the meat for future use. Save the bones and return to the stock and boil for another hour with a new onion, if desired, to intensify the flavor.

To make the sauce, make a roux with the fat and flour, and cook to a medium brown stage, stirring constantly. Add the onion and peppers, if desired and stir to combine. Add the stock and cook on medium heat until thoroughly combined and simmering. Add the achiote paste, and stir to dissolve.

At this point, you can add as much meat back in as you want, and save the rest for other recipes. You will have leftover stock as well. You can omit the roux if you want a thinner sauce. Serve the meat over cooked rice. It can also be used in tamales or tacos.

*Note: adjust the measurements of the spices and flavorings according the how much meat you are using. The essential ingredient in this recipe is the achiote paste.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:53PM
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You're welcome Annie, I'll have to try some of these other recipes. I always need new ideas for a shoulder.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Oops, sorry - Alexa!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I like to do these kind of like LindaC described. I put it in a lobster pot covered with onions, chunks of cabbage, whole potatoes, carrots, liquid & seasonings pertaining to mood, add lid & bake 275-300, at least 5 hours. Add some bread & it's a whole meal. I like to keep the veg on top so they're not swimming in grease.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:37PM
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There is nothing more impressive than a slow roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin.
A "WOW! OMG!" is guaranteed.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Beig a country girl, I've been around when hogs were killed which made everything pretty dog-gone fresh, but is the "pork roast, boston butt", I bought recently at the grocery not considered fresh???? Afraid I don't quite understand the term "fresh". A stupid question?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Jude, I think she meant it wasn't smoked. Here the shoulder is sometimes smoked and then it's called a picnic ham, which it isn't because the ham is actually the hind quarters, or the butt. I've always wondered why the butt is ham and the shoulder is butt...

Makes you wonder how much smoke those guys were breathing when they started smoking pigs, doesn't it? (grin) Nothing seems to have anything to do with anything else, or any real part of the pig. Well, except ribs, and now we have ribs and baby back ribs and country style ribs.

Heck, I'm so old I remember when we just had "ribs"!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Precisely Annie, all I meant was it isn't smoked. We can readily get either fresh or smoked shoulders, and I wasn't looking for smoked shoulder recipes.

Thanks for all the ideas everyone - lots of keepers!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 3:18AM
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I really like this one...
Cuban 24 Hour Pork Roast
1/2 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic , coarsely chopped
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 (5- to 6-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast , tied

1/2 cup lemon or orange or tangerine sorbet
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine or lemon juice
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Orange slices, for garnish (optional)
Chopped cilantro , for garnish (optional)
24 Boston lettuce (about 2 heads), for serving
Fresh salsas (recipes below), for serving

To make brine: In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, salt, brown sugar, rosemary, paprika, peppercorns, oregano and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve, about 30 seconds. Pour into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in water. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes. Place pork roast in a large Ziploc bag. Pour brine over roast and seal bag. Place bag in a large bowl and refrigerate 24 hours, turning bag once.

Preheat oven to 300�. Remove pork from brine and transfer to a large roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil. Roast pork 6 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Remove pork from pan and set aside 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into a bowl and skim off fat (or refrigerate until fat hardens, then remove fat and discard). Set aside; do not clean pan.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:14AM
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Cookie - that sounds really good, but is there more to the recipe? I am all for ANY recipe that ends with:

"Set aside, do not clean pan"

But I feel like I may be missing something LOLOLOL!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:36AM
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We have a pork shoulder. a butt roast, a Boston butt, and a smoked shoulder, and a picnic ham....what else?

As for the "do not clean the pan.." I suggest you wash it out with wine....and dump the resulting sludge over the meat!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:09PM
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There's definitely the last portion missing of Cookie's recipe.
It doesn't say what to do with the sorbet and citrus juices, brown sugar etc.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Sorry about that, next step would be - wait for Andre to clean the dishes, ha ha. yeah, there is more -

Preheat broiler. Remove strings from pork and return pork to pan.

To make glaze: In a bowl, stir together sorbet, tangerine juice, brown sugar and lime juice. Spread pork with glaze and broil about 5 inches from heat until browned, about 3 minutes. Remove roast to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes. Add pan juices to other reserved juices and reheat in a saucepan.

Thinly slice pork roast and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with some of the hot pan juices; garnish with orange slices and chopped cilantro, if desired. To serve, place a slice or two of pork on a lettuce leaf, top with salsa, roll up and eat.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:39PM
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"Fresh salsas (recipes below), for serving"

I'd like to hear about the salsas, too!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:33PM
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