So, the pork shoulder I talked about yesterday is kind of amazing! Especially considering how drop-dead simple it is. And I remembered to take a picture of it before I put it in the oven! But I forgot to take a picture after taking it out of the oven. Bummer. So you’ll just have to buy yourself a pork shoulder and see what it looks like for yourself! I’ll tell you what I did, and then what tweaks I would recommend to make it even better.
[Edit: I made this again and took my own suggestions (below), and it turned out great! So this is a legitimate recipe now, and not just me sharing my kitchen trials with you. But I decided to keep the original post too so you can see the (very short) evolution of the recipe. But I still forgot to take a picture of the finished product.]
- 3-4 lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt)
- 2 tsp each of:
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (optional) (well, everything in this recipe is kind of optional…nothing will explode if you leave something out. Just in case you were worried about that)
- 1 tsp fennel
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (I happen to have a large rosemary bush in my backyard, so I used fresh; you can use 2 tsp dried if that’s what you have!)
- balsamic vinegar
All I did was mix the herbs with a splash of balsamic vinegar, rub it into the pork, and let it sit at room temperature for two hours in my dutch oven.
Then I preheated the oven to 350, stuck the lid on the dutch oven and cooked it for about 2 hours. I checked it to see if it was done (it wasn’t), tried to pull it apart/stir it up as much as possible, and put it back in the oven for another hour or so. This will really depend on your particular cooking dish, oven, and pork, so just check on it periodically to see if it’s falling apart and delicious-looking.
So that’s what I did, but like I said before, it could use some tweaking. When I finally pulled it out of the oven, the pork was done, but it had gotten pretty crispy, and there was a nice layer of burnt stuff cemented to the bottom of my pan. If I had taken it out any sooner, the meat wouldn’t have been done to my liking, so the solution? Next time, I will add a cup of bone broth! That way, it will have some liquid to keep it moist, but still get more browned and caramelized than it would in a crock pot. At least, that’s the idea.
Regardless, the flavor was excellent and I quite enjoyed eating it. After I finished dinner, I continued to pick at it for a couple hours while watching Transformers. Needless to say, it was a great night! I’m honestly not sure why popcorn has a monopoly on the movie-snacks market, because pulled pork is way better.
*Edit: As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I made this again and added about a cup of bone broth. I was also more generous with the balsamic vinegar, adding probably about 1/3-1/2 a cup. And it turned out great!! So delicious, and no rosemary twigs and rogue pork bits cemented to the bottom of my dutch oven. I also tried to pay more attention to the cooking times, and it was about 3 hours before I could start to pull the pork apart. About 30 minutes to an hour later I was able to pull it apart the rest of the way. I mixed it with all the juices, turned off the oven and put the pork back in for 20ish minutes to soak up the rest of the heat and let the flavors meld. That step isn’t really necessary though, if you want to just eat it, you can! Enjoy!
If you tried this recipe, or some variation on it, let me know how it turned out in the comments! What’s your favorite pork shoulder recipe?