I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe yet! It has long been a favorite standby of mine. Pork shoulder is simply cut into large chunks and simmered for 90 minutes, cooled in the same liquid, then easily shredded by hand and ready to be seasoned with your favorite sauce and eaten. It goes well with mexican rice, or tortillas, or even rolled in lettuce with various accompaniments. Any fat should be trimmed before cooking, and on this particular cut of meat the fat was particularly thick. I think I’ve mentioned my love of crispy pork skin before, and I couldn’t resist giving it another try. This time I kept it simple and just deep-fried the sliced skin for a long time until it stopped bubbling, indicating that it had totally dried out. They were so good I could have eaten them like potato chips (and they seem to have upstaged the pulled pork in the picture above), but I instead chopped them up to use as a garnish for the rest of the dinner. It makes for a satisfying meal all rolled up with lettuce, rice, avocado and salsa.
Pulled Pork Shoulder (serves 4-6)
1 pork shoulder half, about 2-3 pounds
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
several sprigs of cilantro
>Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove any fat or skin from the pork – use as explained above if you wish. Cut the pork into large chunks, about 4-inch cubes would be ideal. When the water boils add the pork, onion, garlic and cilantro, plus plenty of salt. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool for several hours in the liquid. I have refrigerated it over night at this point, still int the liquid.
When ready to proceed, simply pull the pork apart, taking care not to crush it – it should flake apart almost like a piece of fish. Reheat it with your favorite sauce – any kind of mexican sauce works well, like salsa verde, mole, and especially any roasted chile-based sauces. This time I just mixed in some tamarind paste, smoked paprika, lime juice and brown sugar, plus salt and pepper. Serve with rice, lettuce and tortillas. Avocado, beans and salsa make nice accompaniments