Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tyler Florence's Roasted Pork Shoulder (Pernil Al Horno)

After making Papparadelle with Meat Ragu I had a large piece of pork shoulder I had to use up.  I found this recipe doing an online search (thank you Food Network!).   Pork shoulder is a fatty, inexpensive piece of meat that is surprisingly tender, moist and flavorful.  It also freezes easily, (so buy a large piece for the Ragu recipe; freeze the rest and defrost the day before you feel like making this Pernil al Horno). This recipe is deceptively simple - how could something this easy taste so good?  The flavorful crust is fantastic and the salt in the recipe acts like a brine to make the interior moist and rich.

Total Time: 7hr
Prep 30 min
Inactive 3 hr 30 min
Cook 3 hr 

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 pounds), skin on
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 handful fresh oregano
4 tablespoons Kosher salt (1 tablespoon for every pound of meat)*
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetabl oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

*Especially with Kosher salt, be very careful to follow this rule of 1-tablespoon-per-pound.  The right amount of salt is heaven, too much can kill your meal.

Place the pork, fat-side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack insert, and using a sharp knife, score the surface of the meat with small slits.  Mash the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper into a paste on a cutting board with the flat side of a knife (this paste is called adobo); place the adobo in a bowl and stir in the oil and vinegar.  Rub the garlic paste all over the pork, being sure to get into the incisions so the salt can penetrate the meat and pull out the moisture - this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked.  Cover the pork with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Roast the pork for 3 hours, uncovered, until the skin is crispy brown.  Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Vamos a comer!

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