I had a fun gathering at my house on Friday night. In lieu of the old hamburgers/hot dogs routine, I went with a couple pulled pork roasts. I guess it was a success because a ton of people asked me for the recipe. Truth be told, there isn’t one really. That is the beauty of pork shoulder…I learned this technique from my mom, and while there are more complicated and gourmet ways to do it, this one is fool-proof.
1 Pork Shoulder, bone in, skin on. You can also use boneless/skinless. Whatever your grocer stocks will work!
2 parts Salt
1 part each Pepper and Garlic Powder
Place pork shoulder skin/fat side up in a large roasting pan. Generously season the pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Don’t worry about over-seasoning the roast. The seasonings should heavily coat the pork, but make sure you use twice as much salt as the pepper and garlic. I never measure. But, I probably use 1/8 c of salt and 1-2 tbsp each of pepper/garlic powder. That’s just a guess.
Cover the roasting pan with foil tightly. Place in preheated oven at 275 degrees for 6-8 hours depending on its size. If you don’t have that much time, it will do just fine at 350 for 3-4 hours. You know it is done when a fork pulls the meat right off….if it doesn’t come off easily or seems rubbery, it needs more time.
There will be a lot of drippings. Allow the roast to cool, then separate the skin and fat from the succulent meat. I usually pour about 1 cup of the reserved drippings back over the pulled meat, to keep it moist and flavorful.
You may have to go back and reseason it to taste after it is cooked. I always serve the meat with my favorite barbecue sauce on the side. It is also good with a few shakes of apple cider vinegar. Next time I will probably use my chipotle cream sauce.
Be creative. For Mexican flavored pork, or for tacos, season with lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Rotel tomatoes tossed in is also delicious. For an Indian flavored pulled pork, douse it with curry powder and coriander and a little cumin. Do you have some random spice mixtures in your pantry that you don’t know what to do with: Ras el Hanout, Garam Masala, Rogan Josh? This is a great way to use them up…just make sure you balance them with the right amount of salt!
P.S. I have not had good success using a crock pot. The meat does not come out nearly tender enough. Maybe I just have a bad slow cooker? Either way, using your oven is about the same amount of work/prep, and it allows you to make two at once, if necessary!