Pork Shoulder



Pork shoulder becomes supertender when it's cooked slowly over low heat, which makes it a natural choice to braise, grill or cook inside a smoker or slow cooker. According to barbecue master Adam Perry Lang, pork shoulder is difficult to overcook because the fat keeps the meat juicy and the whole cut has to reach a set temperature (195°F) to even pull apart properly. A whole pork shoulder consists of the pork butt and the picnic shoulder. You'll typically find the pork butt in grocery stores when searching for pork shoulder. It's inexpensive and easy to cook. F&W's guide offers recipes that range from classic pulled pork to favorites from Latin America and beyond.

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Smoked Pork Butt
This recipe is perfect for your next weekend cookout. You can use Boston butt or pork shoulder; either will yield incredibly smoky, tender, and juicy meat. After rubbing the mustard into the pork and sprinkling on the brown sugar mixture, allow it to rest at room temperature while you prepare the smoker — this will not only allow the rub to permeate deeper into the meat, but also help expedite the cooking process slightly. Keep the temperature in the smoker as consistent as possible, and refill with hot coals as needed. Don't use quick-light types of charcoal, which will give the meat a chemical taste. Serve the pork with a barbecue sauce of your choice and classic barbecue sides, such as baked beans, potato salad or chips, and coleslaw.
Roasted Pork Tostadas with Citrusy Cabbage Salad
This tender citrus-and-herb-roasted pork shoulder pairs with chewy hominy and crunchy radishes and cabbage—Justin Chapple likes to serve the pork salad family-style, and let guests pile their own tostadas high with their favorite toppings. The pork reheats beautifully, making this dish easy to prepare up to 2 days ahead; toss the dressing with the reheated pork and remaining salad ingredients just before serving. Substitute black beans for hominy, if desired.
Schweinebraten (German Roast Pork Shoulder)
This classic German dish is all about the contrast between savory, fork-tender meat and a crispy, tender crust of pork crackling flavored with cumin, caraway, and mustard seeds. It’s worth your time to seek out a boneless pork shoulder with a nice, even fat cap, which is key to the dish. If the only pork shoulder available with a fat cap comes with a bone, you can ask the butcher to remove it or cut it out with a boning knife at home.
Frijoles con Puerco
Chef Jorge Guzman’s Yucatecan-influenced black beans with pork get an extra depth of flavor from charred onion and garlic as well as dried epazote, a Mexican herb with notes of camphor, mint, and citrus. Slideshow: More Pork Shoulder Recipes 
Pork Tamales
Citrus, garlic, and chile infuse pork shoulder in chef Andrew Zimmern’s take on Colombian tamales. The marinade also perks up the masarepa dough. Instead of corn husks, these tamales are traditionally wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. Slideshow: More Pork Shoulder Recipes 
Pork Braised in Milk
Slow-cooking pork shoulder in milk creates succulent meat and a silky, caramelized sauce. Unless the dairy curdles. What to do? A pinch of baking soda works as a stabilizer. Serve with crusty bread. Slideshow: More Pork Shoulder Recipes 
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Pork Shoulder Skewers
Instead of braising pork shoulder until tender, Tusk’s Sam Smith marinates thin slices of the meat to boost flavor, then skewers and grills it until melting and juicy within and nicely charred on the outside. Slideshow: More Pork Shoulder Recipes 
Coke-Braised Pork Tacos
Coca-Cola is the secret to this super-simple braised pork recipe from TV chef Marcela Valladolid “The cola both tenderizes the pork and gives it a dark, caramelized crust,” says Valladolid. “I like to shred this pork and serve right in the casserole that it cooks in. I lay out bowls of toppings so everyone can build their own tacos.” If you can get it, Valladolid also recommends using Mexican cola for richer flavor. Slideshow: More Taco Recipes 
Thai-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Rating: 4 stars 4

To make the complex sauce for this pulled pork, chef Jamie Bissonnette mimics an indoor smoker by wrapping all of the spices and aromatics in foil, then cooking the packet directly on the stovetop burner until the contents are charred and pleasantly smoky. Slideshow:  More Pulled Pork Recipes