Monday, May 5, 2008
I am always amazed when I go to the grocery store and see these gigantic pork shoulder roasts on sale for .95 cents a pound. Doesn't anybody know how mind alteringly good these can be if prepared properly? I am almost afraid to give up this recipe as it may cause a run on pork shoulder and cause a price spike at my local grocery store. I guess that would be okay since I don't know how a farmer can raise a pig for what these roasts are selling for.
While this roast maybe doesn't reach the culinary heights of say crisp bacon or prosciutto, this is by far the best quality to price ratio piece of meat on the pig.
Anyway, this is an adaptation I made from a Mario Batali recipe. He cooks his roast overnight and the resulting meat to me is too done. This preparation leave the meat still firm enough to slice and it is unctuous, succulent and very fragrant. Heads up though, to do this properly you need to start a day ahead to allow the pork shoulder to absorb the garlic and herb mixture you rub it down with.
5-8 lb. Pork Shoulder Roast
1 head of Garlic
1-2 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
1-2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
Peel and sliver the entire head of garlic then take a paring knife and make punctures into the roast so you can insert the garlic. Next slather with olive oil and dust with the fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover the roast and let sit for 24 hours.
Pre-heat your over to 250 degrees and place the roast into the oven. You will now be looking at about a 5-6 hour roasting time to get the roast up to the desired 160 degrees.
When the roast reaches 160 degrees (oven temperature) go ahead and pull the roast and tent with foil. Let the roast rest for at least 20 minutes. I actually like to start this roast earlier in the day and pull it at 150 degrees, let rest and then when dinner is about an hour out I will crank the oven up to 350 degrees and cook until I get to 160 degrees. This browns and crisps the outside nicely.
The roast as you can see has just a hint of pink and this is a fantastic dish for a large gathering. It is also amazing for sandwiches -hot or cold.