Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yummy Pig Meat.

I don't remember how the subject came up, but shortly after I arrived in New York, T mentioned that he hadn't ever had really good pulled pork in New York. The only barbecue he could find was smothered in thick tomatoey sauce instead of the thin vinegar sauce that he remembered from childhood. I said, "I can make that, easy." So I did.

T wanted me to write down the recipe for him, so I thought I'd share it here, too, since I have it all typed up. I have a large slow-cooker at home that will easily fit half a shoulder roast, but if you have a regular size crockpot, you might want to have a whole shoulder cut into 3 pieces.

This recipe is bare bones, using only what T had handy in his kitchen. If I were making it at home, I might add a couple bay leaves and a big pinch of coriander. But it turned out absolutely delicious. We made 3 meals out of it.


Pork shoulder roast with bone
2 or 3 small onions, or 1 big one
8 or 10 garlic cloves
orange juice
1 lime
brown sugar
cider vinegar

Sauté the onions and garlic over medium-high heat in olive oil with a few pinches of salt until they have lots of brown charred spots (but not burnt). Transfer them to the crock pot. If you have carrots or celery around, you can brown them in big chunks with the onions. They’ll add more flavor.

Salt and pepper the roast generously. In the same pan, brown the roast well on all sides. Don’t burn it, but the more char you get on it, the better. Transfer it to the crock pot. Deglaze the pan with orange juice, scrape all the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan, and pour it all into the crock pot. Add more orange juice to about 1/2 full. Add a few peels of the lime, more salt, some red pepper flakes.

Cook on high until it starts to simmer, then turn to low and cook until the meat falls apart easily when you stick a fork in it -- it’ll take a few hours. Remove the roast to a plate and let it cool enough to handle, then separate the meat from the fat and bone. Strain the liquid and skim off the fat (I put it in the freezer in a cup while I’m picking apart the meat, so the fat coagulates and is easier to skim off.)

Make the sauce: Heat about a 1/3 cup of orange juice, 1/3 cup of cider vinegar, a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, the juice of the lime, and the liquid from cooking the roast. Boil to reduce by about half. Pour over the meat and let it sit for a little while to absorb some of the liquid. Add salt to taste.

When you eat the leftovers the next day, splash a little vinegar and/or lime juice on the meat when you heat it up. It’ll brighten it up.


Shred half a head of cabbage. Toss with 2 tablespoons of sea salt in a colander and let it sit over a bowl for 2 or 3 hours. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels or a non-fuzzy kitchen towel. Toss with just enough mayo to lightly coat it and a splash of white vinegar or rice vinegar. Easy!
T and I ate the pork topped with cole slaw on potato rolls. I can't think of anything better to come home to late after working all day and you're famished.