Tag Archives: pork shoulder

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder and Sweet Potato Hash

A snowy cold January Sunday seemed like a good day to have the oven on for eight hours.

I usually make pulled pork in a slow-cooker (about 5-6 hours on high), but was in the mood for some crispy pork to put in wraps with a little sweet potato hash. I followed this recipe from Serious Eats, which also allowed me to use that nice big baking sheet and rack that I used for the Thanksgiving spatchcocked turkey, and the recipe couldn’t be any simpler to follow—just an oven temperature + a length of time + a little salt and pepper. Unlike the original recipe, I used the top or butt portion of the shoulder, not the picnic portion with the shank bone, so I’m guessing my 8 lb shoulder, with just a blade bone, had more meat on it. Neither did I use a shoulder with the skin attached, which I don’t really want, but it had a good fat cap that turned out nice and crispy by the end of the cooking time.

I wanted something different than the common barbecue sauces, and decided on some oven-roasted sweet potato hash. It was a good call.

I did make a drizzling sauce of chipotles in adobo sauce whizzed up in the blender with honey and a little olive oil. Just a little of that goes a long way, but it was an interesting flavor alongside the sweet potatoes. Be sure to get a close up view of the roasted pork below and notice how much leftover pork we have!

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder and Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 8 lbs of meat serves a lot of people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 250°; place a sheet of parchment paper over rack on rimmed baking pan.

Ingredients
  • 1 pork shoulder, about 8 lbs, either the butt or picnic cut will do; get one with the skin on if you like that
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium onions, halved then sliced
  • olive oil for tossing vegetables
  • Optional: your favorite herbs for tossing vegetables
  • Optional: tortillas, shredded lettuce, sauce
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven at around 7:30 A.M.
  2. Salt and pepper the roast all over and place roast on parchment on roasting rack.
  3. Place roast in oven at 8:00 A.M. and set timer for 8 hours. It will be done at 4:00 P.M.
  4. Remove roast and loosely cover with foil while you make the potatoes.
  5. Raise oven temperature to 400°; meanwhile toss diced potatoes and onion with olive oil to coat. Add herbs if desired.
  6. Spread potatoes and onions on parchment-lined baking pan and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until browned and beginning to get crispy.
  7. Alternatively you could cook the hash in a cast iron skillet.
  8. Shred the meat with forks, trying not to eat all the crispy edges yourself.
  9. Pile shredded meat, potatoes, and some shredded lettuce in the tortillas of your choice. Good as is or with some drizzling sauce.

Drizzling sauce (hot): In a blender pulse until smooth, 1 small can chipotles in adobo sauce, 2-3 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons olive oil. You can adjust taste with salt and a splash of vinegar—I did.

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Pulled Pork Two Ways

Beyond pulled pork in a bun with coleslaw—and it is one of my favorite ways to eat pulled pork—what else can you do with that lovely pile of meat that is generally way too much for one meal? Yes, there are a lot of Mexican dishes that use pulled pork, and one of those is my second recipe here, but first, let’s do something savory that doesn’t involve peppers and melted cheese, followed by heartburn.

Pork and Sweet Potatoes

Pork and Sweet Potatoes with Thyme

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is a kind of a hash in appearance, but without poached or fried eggs on top. I’m kind of over the meme of the egg thrown on everything edible.

Let’s assume you have roasted a pork butt or shoulder and have about 1-1.5 lbs of the meat sitting around for one recipe. I didn’t immediately pull the meat off my roast, because I knew I wanted other options; I broke it into large chunks and divided it in half—one half to chop into rough cubes, the other to shred for the second day.

1-1.5 lbs roast pork butt or shoulder, seasoned in roasting with garlic, salt, and pepper, cut roughly in medium cubes or shredded

3 cups sweet potatoes, cut in medium dice

1/3 cup shallots, in small dice

Olive oil and butter for sautéing

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (more if using fresh thyme)

  1. In a large skillet, heat about 2-3 tablespoons oil and an equal amount of butter over medium to medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. I’m nuts about the combination of these two fats.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to combine with the fat. Cover for about 5 minutes to steam them a little, then uncover and add the shallots and thyme. Keep stirring until the potatoes are tender. They will brown lightly with this method, but you could fry them uncovered for more browning. Basically, you want the potatoes to cook through without overcooking or burning the shallots and thyme, so hold off on adding them too soon.
  3. At the last, stir in the diced pork and heat through. If your pork is like mine, there should be some juices from the roasting, which will be gelatinous if you have refrigerated it, and that flavor needs to be combined with the potatoes.

I say it serves 2-4, because my husband finished it off, so it was two in our house, even with a side vegetable.

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

On day two, which was the day before Cinco de Mayo, the remaining pork was pulled into shreds for enchiladas. I made them rather simply this time to highlight the meat.

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8 enchiladas
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
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Preheat oven to 350°

1.5 lbs pulled pork, seasoned in roasting with garlic, salt, and pepper

2 4.5 oz cans diced chiles

1 large onion, diced

1 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

8 tortillas—I used whole wheat flour tortillas in a soft taco size to fit crosswise in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish

3 cups enchilada sauce—I made my own, but you could use canned sauce

  1. See my enchilada sauce recipe here, increasing the ingredients to make 3 cups. It will take about an hour to make. Otherwise, this recipe is just a quick construction with pre-cooked meat.
  2. Place pulled pork in large skillet with the canned chiles and heat over medium heat until warm.
  3. Stir in the raw onions.
  4. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
  5. Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the shredded meat mixture in a tortilla and top with 1 oz of the shredded cheese. Roll tight and place in dish, seam side down. Repeat to fill the dish.
  6. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas—I like to see the ends of the tortillas sticking out, but it’s not written in stone.
  7. Top with the remaining 1/2 lb of shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

This made enough that we could still have some for Cinco de Mayo.

New Year’s Pork and Sauerkraut

My mother said there were other traditions of food to eat for luck in the new year, such as black-eyed peas in the southern United States, but for us it was pork and sauerkraut. It’s a kind of heavy meal, more from the fat than from carbs, but it’s one we look forward to every year, and only once a year. I like to serve it at midday on New Year’s so we have time to recover by evening, instead of going to bed so full. What made this meal so popular with my husband is that the sauerkraut comes out edible, more sweet (without sugar) than sour, and the pork just falls apart. The roasted potatoes also help counter the tartness of the sauerkraut. It might be the simplest of big meals to cook, everything in one pot, and then a side vegetable made at the end. As noted in the last post, we top it off with custard pie, not too sweet, not too filling, just cool and creamy.

New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 300°

2 32oz bags of regular Silver Floss Krrrrisp Kraut or your favorite sauerkraut

Pork shoulder (butt), blade-in (about 5 lbs) or boneless pork butt, tied (about 3-5 lbs)*

1 lb kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut in 3 inch pieces—I used our favorite Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa©

2-3 lbs small red potatoes, whole or larger potatoes, quartered

  1. Place sauerkraut and all its liquid in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set pork butt on top of sauerkraut and season with salt and pepper. Place lid on pan and roast in center of oven for 5 hours.
  2. Raise heat to 375°
  3. Add potatoes and pieces of kielbasa around roast. Return to oven with lid on and roast for 1 more hour.

The meat will be falling apart and the sauerkraut will be golden brown from cooking in the meat juices. Remove all components to a large platter and serve with a vegetable side—we had broccoli to add some needed green color to the meal.

*This dish won’t work out with a lean cut of pork, like a loin or tenderloin, which cannot stand up to such long cooking.

What do you eat for luck in the new year?

Decadent Pork Ragu

Ran across this at the terrific Travelling Pantry. It offers something new to do with that pork shoulder besides the typical pulled pork sandwich. I’ll be making it soon.

The Travelling Pantry

I’ve made this ragu so many times since I first tried it, about 2 years ago. Its simplicity always deems it a pleasure to make and it’s perfect for a dinner party, as it can feed 6-8. If you have fiddly starters or desserts, this can just be left either in the oven or on the stove until the meat is ready to be lifted out, shredded and returned to the sauce – pretty dandy.

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My boyfriend’s brothers favourite dish, and served up at his birthday meal – worthy of the party hats and celebrations surrounding it (I can say this myself as it’s not my creation), but from The National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden Restaurant in Canberra.

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Not the cheapest thing to make, but I think worthy of every penny – especially when it’s served up for a dinner party or special celebration.

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Ingredients Serves 6-8

  • 1 ½…

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