I’m a big fan of slowly braised meats. We’ve always loved a slow roasted leg of lamb and have made it on numerous occasions. We’ve also always wanted to try out slow roasting other cuts of meat such as a pork shoulder but the limited availability of these cuts made it an impossible task.
Recently when we were in a supermarket, Peter chanced upon a whole pork shoulder sitting on the counter. After much debate, mainly because it was just after Christmas and everybody had their fill of roasts and comfort foods, and the not so daunting fact (!) that it weighed a whopping 6 kilos, we decided to go for it.
So off we went with our prized possession after extracting promises from our in laws to help us in finishing it all if we were successful in getting anywhere close to our dream of a slowly braised, falling off the bone, roast.
I looked through various websites to find an inspiring recipe. After much thought, a recipe I found on the Channel4 website turned out to be the most practical.
The first step was to marinate the meat. For the marinade, I mixed together a generous amount of fresh rosemary, thyme, sweet paprika, lots of garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. After making a few cuts in the skin, this spice mix was then rubbed all over, the meat wrapped in clingfilm and stored the refrigerator (it just about fit in there) overnight.
The next morning, the oven was preheated to around 240C. The meat was then placed in the hot oven for about 20 minutes. This helped give it a nice dark brown colour on the surface. After 20 minutes, the temperature was reduced to 140C. I covered the roasting tin with some foil as tightly as I could and placed it back in the oven to cook on its own for another 8-9 hours.
By the time our guests arrived, there was high anticipation in the kitchen, especially because we’d barely peeked at the meat in between and so had no idea how it would actually turn out. But to our pleasant surprise, when we took it out finally and removed the foil, we could see that the meat had cooked all through and was ready to fall off the bone as soon as we touched it.
We had a sumptious dinner with some roasted potatoes, fresh salad and bread to accompany the pulled pork meat and some gravy made from the juices in the pan. As expected, there were plenty leftovers. We had quite a few lunches and dinners to use these up over the next few days.
There’s nothing more satisfying than some tender roasted meat on a cold winter’s day. Since we’ve now satisfied our craving, we’re hoping to switch to a healthier diet (as everybody does after the holidays) and our upcoming trip to India and Southeast Asia will give us a chance to eat lighter and healthier meals 🙂