With his Thanksgiving visit fresh in my mind, I attacked a pork shoulder with a vengeance over the Christmas holidays and was determined to get the skin as crispy as I could. Before I came up with this recipe, I had a lot of questions that needed answers. What temperature, skin side up or down, liquid or no liquid, to cover or not to cover, use Trinidad Green seasoning or Oregano, cider or no cider? After a while, I just decided on the following...and the Roasted pork shoulder turned out delicious, so I decided to share it with you. ..and boy was the pork skin crispy!!…Chicharrones/cueritos, as the Latin American countries refer to it, in its true form.
I couldn’t have been more proud of myself and I can’t wait to make it for my Uncle the next time he visits. I want to be there when he takes the first bite. I also want to hit him on "de head" with the pork shoulder(to test the crispiness of the skin of course), but I won’t waste such good food. Hopefully, I will never have to hear that long, drawn out story anymore. Wish me luck.
Use this recipe and make it your own adapting it to your family’s preferences. I cooked the pork shoulder for about four hours but if you want fall apart tender, leave it for a longer time.
CWR'S Roasted Pork Shoulder
1 pork shoulder, 4 to 7 pounds
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large onion, quartered
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
Lemon or vinegar for washing meat
CWR’s notes—Oregano can be replaced with a minced scallion, 1 sprig thyme or a bunch of cilantro or culantro.
1. Wash meat with lemon or vinegar. Rinse, drain and pat dry. Score meat's skin with a sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern. Pulse garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, habanero or scotch bonnet, salt and pepper together in a food processor, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty. Blend in the vinegar.
2. Rub this mixture well into pork. You may also make deep slits in the meat to place seasoning. Marinate overnight or several days(cover with plastic wrap).
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove pork from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Put pork in a roasting pan skin side down and fill bottom with 2 cups water. Roast pork uncovered (at 400°) for one hour. After one hour, lower heat to 300° turning roast skin side up and adding more water as necessary, until meat is very tender about 3-4 hours [on my 7.5 lb. roast, the outside of the roast was very tender but the inside could have cooked longer for a "falling apart texture"] .
4. At the end of cooking, place under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp skin(or cook for an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees F). Let meat rest for 20 minutes before cutting. Serve with rice and beans..or in a sandwich...
Thanks for stopping by,
Cooking with love-for my uncle Seg,
p.s. I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post, I was in a hurry to get it into the oven for it to be done in time for dinner!!