I made the most delicious pork roast the other day and wanted to share it with all of you (well…not the actual roast, but you know what I mean! 🙂 )
Thanks again to America’s Test Kitchen (love, love, LOVE that show!), I was able to take a daunting-looking piece of meat and turn it into a moist, tender and delicious meal with very little effort. Here’s how I did it:
I started off with a 5 pound pork shoulder roast (also called Boston Butt in certain areas of the country). I was able to get this for a steal at Harris Teeter a few weeks ago when they were on sale. There was enough meat here to last us for 2 meals and lots of lunches. Very economical!
The first thing to do is to cut a cross-hatch pattern into the fat cap on top of the roast. I just used my regular chef’s knife to make shallow cuts into the fat on an angle. After my first set of cuts, I went back the other way, making slices into the fat to make a pretty diamond pattern.
Next, I took 1/3 cup of brown sugar and mixed it with 1/6 cup of regular table salt. The recipe calls for 1/3 cup kosher salt, but I didn’t have any on hand. I’ve heard many times on ATK that regular table salt is about double the weight of kosher salt, so when substituting, use only half as much. I just poured salt into my 1/3 cup measure until it was halfway full. Rub the salt and sugar mixture over the entire roast, making sure to get it down into the cuts that are in the fat cap.
Next, wrap the roast in plastic wrap and store it in your refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. I got my roast ready the night before, right before I went to bed. It had about 14 hours to sit in the fridge before I put it in the oven.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Take the plastic off the roast, and brush off any extra sugar that may still be on the outside of the meat. You don’t want this to burn in the oven. Place the roast on a v-rack set inside a roasting pan, and pour about 1 quart of water into the bottom of the pan. You don’t want the water to touch the meat…it’s just there so that the fat that drips down doesn’t burn in the oven.
Roast the meat for about 5 to 6 hours, until the temperature registers 190 degrees on your meat thermometer. My roast took just about 5 hours. Set the roast aside and cover it with foil so that it can rest for about 1 hour. You’ll want to take the shoulder bone out of the roast before slicing…it should just pull out very easily, since the meat is very tender. I sliced the meat into big, thick slices.
Here it is all ready to eat, with some mashed potatoes and veggies! The meat was perfectly seasoned all the way through and very tender. We ate 2 meals like this, and then I shredded the rest of the meat and made it into burritos for lunches. I think you could also put some barbecue sauce over some shredded pork and make Barbecue Pork Sandwiches. Yum!
Here’s the full recipe…(adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
Roasted Pork Shoulder
5-6 pound shoulder pork roast
1/3 c. kosher salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
Make a cross-hatch pattern in the roast’s fat cap, then rub the sugar and salt into the meat. Wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Roast the meat at 325 degrees until its internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. Let meat rest for one hour before slicing or shredding.