If you’ve ever had a super tender pork shoulder, and wondered what made it so soft and moist, there may be other seasonings and tips involved, but one thing is for sure: it was slow cooked.
Why Does Slow Cooking Meat Make It So Tender?
Slowly cooking a big hunk of tough, inexpensive meat is not only the best way to cook this cut of meat, it’s really the only way to cook it. In short, most tough cuts of meat come from the hardest working parts of the animal, and therefore have a lot of collagen. This collagen needs to be broken down, and converted to gelatin, for the meat to become tender. That’s not the most delicious sentence I’ve ever written, but it’s a good-to-know-thing.
If you want to rub the meat with the spice rub the night before and leave it loosely covered in the fridge overnight, the dry rub will season the meat a little more deeply. But this isn’t a heavily seasoned roast, so it’s a step that you can skip if you don’t have time or fridge space.
You are looking for an internal temperature of 185°F, but you can also definitely tell it’s done when it is starts to become tender enough to pull it apart with a fork.
How To Use Slow Cooked Pork:
This meat can be eaten just as it is, with any kind of starchy side from Mashed Potatoes to rice to orzo or another pasta, to roasted potatoes. Or you can make it into tacos, by wrapping the meat in warmed soft corn or flour tortillas, and adding in whatever feels right. Avocados, shredded cheese, a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream, salsas of any kind, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled onions, fresh onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded zucchini.
You could also use this meat in enchiladas, or burritos, and any kind of Mexican-ish inspired casserole. But can I tell you that I ate some of this with leftover tzatziki and it was AWESOME? And I also tucked big bites of the meat into a ramen noodle soup, and fell in love once more. The lightly dusting of spices blended right in to the Asian world of the soup.
There is no such thing as leftover slow cooked pork. There is only such thing as another brilliant pork dinner waiting to happen.Tweet This
And how about using the pork in huevos rancheros? Pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce? Toss it with pasta, make it into chili, grab a package of refrigerated pie crusts and make empanadas?
There is no such thing as leftover slow cooker pork. There is only such thing as another brilliant pork dinner waiting to happen.
Other Roast Pork Recipes:
- Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic
- Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables
- Slow Cooker Fall-Apart Braised Pork with Cabbage and Apples
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Slow Cooked Pork Roast
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar light or dark
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika hot or sweet
- 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 5-pound boneless pork butt roast
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, garlic, oil, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub it all over the roast. Place the roast in a roasting pan, preferably in a wire rack. Add the wine.
- Cook uncovered for 5 to 6 hours, until it has a nice crust and the meat is falling apart tender. You are looking for an internal temperature of 185°F, but you can also definitely tell it's done when it is starts to become tender enough to pull it apart with a fork.
- Remove the roast from oven and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Use a fork or two to shred the meat into nice sized pieces.
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