When you write cookbooks or a food blog, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What’s your favorite dish?” or “What’s your favorite cut of meat?” For years, I’ve evaded the question or provided multiple answers. But reflecting on it now, I think I can safely say that nothing excites me more than a slow cooked pork shoulder.
Did you know that pork is also the most affordable of all pastured meats and the fat of pork (properly exposed to sunlight) is the highest source of Vitamin D found to naturally occur in food? We wrote all about why we love pork in our 2nd cookbook, Beyond Bacon, which is where this infamous recipe hails from.
Because of the marbled, fatty nature of this cut, it’s the perfect piece to turn into pulled pork, which it does easily given enough slow roasting time. And pulled pork, if seasoned right, is the greatest meat dish ever invented.
Now a barbecue purist might say that you have to smoke your shoulder in order to really make a pulled pork. And, while I love my smoker – the cooler weather has me back to using my oven more and standing outside in the cold rain less. And I can tell you – this will melt in your mouth and be just as tasty if you make sure to baste it so it doesn’t dry out and never let your oven get too hot.
The result is absolutely wonderful, it lasts for days, reheats well, and is perfect to add into other dishes as a pre-cooked protein (carnitas bowls, anyone)?!
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 5 pounds pork shoulder roast, Boston butt or picnic
- ½ C lard, melted
- ½ C apple cider vinegar
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and black pepper with a fork.
- Dry off the shoulder with a towel and rub the outside of the pork shoulder with the spice mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the Lard and apple cider vinegar.
- Roast the pork, fat side up, in a baking dish at 325°F for about 4 hours. Baste with the re-whisked vinegar mixture every 30-45 minutes. After about 3 hours, check to make sure the meat is still tender to the touch; this will prevent it from drying out. As soon as the meat begins to firm up and pull apart easily, remove it from the heat. For ultimate juiciness and tenderness, the internal temperature should reach about 185°F.
- When the meat has finished roasting, shred it with two forks. If your pork is too dry, reincorporate some of the liquid left in the baking sheet as you shred it.
If you, like Stacy, can't consume nightshades - here is an alternative spice blend that our family now uses and loves: 1 Tbsp Salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp Coriander, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, zest of 1 lemon
Serve it with any of our Barbecue Sauces from Beyond Bacon or our favorite Apple Butter BBQ Sauce from Real Life Paleo! Stay inside for your next “barbecue” and have confidence that this EASY & AFFORDABLE dish will wow your family and friends!