Tips For Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder

Written by trish jackson
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Tips For Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder
Add sherry to enhance the flavour of slow-cooked pork. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pork should never be served rare. Slow cooking ensures that the pork is well done and enhances the flavour at the same time. Slow-cooked pork shoulder is an ideal dish for entertaining because all the preparation is done in the morning and by the time the guests arrive, your home will smell tantalising, the pork will be tender and juicy and you will not have to spend time slaving in the kitchen.

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Preparing

If you like pork crackling, ask the butcher to leave the skin on and to score it or score it yourself. To score it yourself, cut almost all the way through the skin in a crisscross pattern and leave it on the meat. If you do not like pork crackling, peel the fat and skin off before cooking. Start in the morning if you are serving the pork for dinner. Remove the pork from the refrigerator, rinse the joint and pat dry. Crush fresh garlic, salt, oregano, thyme and pepper to make a paste and rub it all over the meat or season as desired.

Cooking

To brown the pork and seal in the juices, roast it at 232 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes after placing the pork on a rack in the roasting pan skin-side up. Reduce the oven temperature to 107 degrees Celsius and add vegetables and seasonings. Take the pork out of the oven every now and then to baste with the juices to improve the flavour. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the joint next to the bone. When it reads 76.7 degrees Celsius, the meat is done. If it is done before you are ready to serve, reduce the oven temperature to 71.1 degrees Celsius and keep it warm for up to four hours or until you are ready.

Making the Gravy

When done, take the pork joint out of the pan and place it on a board. Cover loosely with aluminium foil to keep it warm. Pour 1/4 cup sherry and 2 cups broth into the roasting pan and set the pan on the top of the stove. Scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you bring it to the boil and stir until the liquid has been reduced by half. Strain the vegetables and little burnt pieces of meat out and discard. Add 1 1/2 tsp balsamic or sherry vinegar.

Serving the Pork

Pull the crisscrossed crackling off the meat, place in a shallow pan and bake at 204 degrees Celsius for around 10 minutes until fluffy and crispy. Cut it into serving-size pieces. Slice the meat across the grain and arrange in a serving platter with the crispy crackling on top. Alternatively, the pork will be so tender you can pull it apart and serve as pulled pork. Serve with rice or roasted potatoes and a colourful assortment of vegetables. Place applesauce or apple jelly on the table in a container with a spoon so guests can put it on their meat if desired.

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