The weather has finally decided to be lovely and not the sauna it was a week and a half ago. So, it became time to cook since I could have the oven on for hours and not feel like I was committing hara-kiri by sweating.
Since it was on sale ($1.49/pound) and we love it, I got a whole pork shoulder aka “fresh ham” aka a lot of other terms. In this cut you have no choice but to admit that meat does indeed come from animals since you’ve got the skin, bone and it’s quite recognizable as a leg. This one ran about 8 pounds, so this isn’t one of the big hogs I grew up with on the farm where their legs were probably double or triple the weight . All told, I got about 4 pounds of useable meat and fat from this beastie, the bones being quite large. You also lose weight when it comes to the skin. Some of the skin on this roast did crisp up into cracklings but the majority didn’t.
How I made the pork roast: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Place shoulder in pan that will hold it (we used our speckled roaster with the lid). Pour a bit of water around the meat, a cup or so. Leaving lid off for now, place in oven, and roast at temp for about 20 minutes. Then lower temp to 350 degress F (177 degrees C), place on lid and roast until bones are loose and skin is golden (about 4 hours total in our case). Replace water if you’d like, that’s where the juices for the gravy comes from.
I would not suggest that you give the bones or skin to a dog since pork bones have a tendency to splinter nastily and the skin isn’t that easy to digest. Cats, being obligate carnivores, seem to have no problem with the skin and these particular bones are too big for them to do anything with other than perhaps lick them. Continue reading “From the Kitchen, from the Bar – pork shoulder, ales and kibitzing about music, movies, etc”