Delicious, Simple, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder
If you're a budget-conscious mom, pork shoulder may show up on your radar as a good protein to add to the mix. But as a tough meat marbled with fat, it's best cooked low and slow, which means it's not the kind of meat that works when you need dinner ready in a flash after getting home from work. It does mean, however, that pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, works as a Crock-Pot meat. And nothing makes a working mom happier than recipes that call for using the Crock-Pot.
Pork shoulder can be used to make pulled pork, a pork ragu or a stuffing for tacos. This simple recipe serves as a good start for any of these dishes.
Total Time: 5 to 6 hours | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 8
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 (4 1/2 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
- In a small bowl, mix salt and pepper.
- Wash the pork shoulder under cold running water and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper over the meat.
- Place the meat in a 6- to 8-quart Crock-Pot.
- Add onions and broth.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
- Take the pork out of the Crock-Pot and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- With two forks, shred the meat.
Serve simply with roasted potatoes and steamed green beans.
If you need your pork shoulder sooner, bump up the heat to high and cook for 5 hours.
While this dish is delicious enough on its own, there are a number of ways you can serve it once the meat is cooked. For tacos, mix the shredded meat with some of your favorite taco seasoning mix and stuff into a soft flour tortilla. Top with shredded red cabbage and diced tomatoes.
If you like pulled pork sandwiches, mix 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, 1 cup yellow mustard, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup honey, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add your homemade barbecue sauce to your shredded pork and combine. Serve on soft rolls.
For pork ragu, saute 4 teaspoons of garlic in 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and a 35-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Cook until bubbly, then add your meat and continue cooking for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve over cooked pasta.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.