8-hour low & slow pork shoulder with roasted tomatillo salsa and pickled red onion

Guys. This is the *perfect* weekend meal. Whether it’s for date night or game day, the commitment to a slow-roasted pork shoulder is minimal and the pay-off is huge. You basically just stick this big chunk of meat in the oven, spend the next 8 hours drinking or napping or whatever and then come back to an amazing meal.

I’ve included the homemade salsa and quick pickles I like to pair the meal with, as the fattiness of the meat really benefits from some tang. Jeffrey and I just tend to put everything on a cutting board and attack with two forks, but if you’re more civilized than that, pair it with rice for a seriously awesome bowl or some tortillas for a next-level taco night.

8-hour low & slow pork shoulder with roasted tomatillo salsa and quick pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 pork shoulder (4 pounds)
  • Seasoning or rub
  • For the salsa
  • 6 tomatillos
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large jalapeño
  • 2 limes
  • Salt, pepper, cumin and cilantro to taste
  • For the pickles
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large jalapeño
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 limes
  • Vinegar of choice
  • Salt, pepper, sugar, red chili flakes to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove pork from fridge 1 hour prior to cooking. Rub entire shoulder with a generous amount of seasoning (I used my favorite mesquite rub along with some smoked paprika). With a sharp knife, score the fatty skin side, careful not to cut deep into meat. Rub coarse salt into scores, then allow meat to rest while you take care of the salsa and pickles.
  2. The salsa: Arrange tomatillos, tomatos, garlic and jalapeños on a small baking tray. Broil on the highest rack in your oven for a few minutes, or until the tomatillos develop a nice, dark color on top. Allow veggies to cool, then blend in a food processor with salt, pepper, cumin and spice to taste. Let cool in fridge.
  3. The pickles: Slice red onion very thinly, then place in a large plastic container or tupperware. Add smashed garlic cloves, sliced jalapeños (with the seeds, if you're not a baby), salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover vegetables halfway with vinegar, then top off with cold water so that everything is completely submerged. Squeeze juice of limes over the top. Seal container, give it a good shake and then store in the fridge until meal time.
  4. Once the meat has come to room temperature, preheat oven to 450°F and put in the pork, skin-side up on a cooking sheet. The idea here is to blister the skin at a high heat and get a nice, crunchy crackling before roasting it low and slow. After 30 minutes at 450°F, lower the oven temperature to 250°F and cook for another 7.5 hours, basting pork occasionally with its own fat.
  5. Pork is safe to eat at 160°F, but will be fall-apart tender and mouth-watering at 190°F (which is what this cook time should get you). Allow meat to rest at least 30 minutes before digging in.
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