The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

January 15, 2014

Pork shoulder can be divided into four recipes

JOPLIN, Mo. — It's a familiar kitchen economy strategy: Roast a chicken (or buy a rotisserie bird at the supermarket), then turn it into three meals.

Not as familiar is following that same approach with another meat, and the best of these, in our thinking, is a pork roast, specifically the shoulder, with its rich texture thanks to its generous fat.

Often called a Boston butt or butt roast, a pork shoulder roast can be bought boneless or bone-in. They can be quite large (8 pounds) or small (2 pounds). We like a 6-pound bone-in roast. It fits into a large Dutch oven for browning and yields plenty of meat to last several meals.

Here we take a pork shoulder, roast it off, then break it down into four meals, each designed to feed a family of four. Our 6-pound roast yielded just under 4 pounds of cooked meat (minus the bone). For the first night, we served slices of pork shoulder and figured everyone might want more than a standard 4-ounce serving. That still left plenty for subsequent nights. You can go many ways, of course. A pasta dish, a Cuban sandwich, pulled pork. We picked a stir-fry, tacos and, finally, a soup, which utilized the reserved bone for a broth and required less of the pork than the other meals.

A bonus is that after the first meal, the cooking and assembly of the other dishes is quick -- another economy we love.

 

Day 1: Roast pork shoulder

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together in a small bowl 1 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds. Rub all over 1 large bone-in pork shoulder roast (about 6 pounds), pressing the seasonings into the meat.

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork; brown on all sides. Transfer the pork to a rack inside a roasting pan just large enough to hold it. Pour 1 quart water into pan. Roast until very tender, 2 to 3 hours. (Add more water to the pan if it becomes dry near the end of the cooking time.)

Remove roast from the oven; allow to rest, covered, about 20 minutes. Cut slices for dinner; serve with vegetables and starch of your choice.

After dinner, pull the remaining pork into shreds or cut into thick slices. Portion the pork into three sealable containers for the next three nights, saving the bone for broth. Refrigerate.

 

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