I made this a while back when I was mulling over trying to jump-start the blog. It’s the “Donnie Brasco” Pork Shoulder preperation from the River Cottage Meat Book. Some or none of you may recall that I had lost my senses and inexplicably determined that what would be best for me would be to cook a whole cookbook, like the lot of it, recipe by recipe. That ended in a lot of OOOO like Juila chiding rubbish, but that did no bother me a tall. It was just a lot of work, and I didn’t have the dedication, that’s all. I admit it. But still, I cook a recipe from the Meat Book on occasion, like this one here. This is a whole Pork Shoulder, a beauty from Tails & Trotters, that is meant to be slow cooked in the oven for upwards of 24 hours (which is, to spoil the plot for you, way to effing long.)
I decided to make this one because I developed a particular affixation for pork shoulder after the joy of what was and is the Momofuku Ramen Bowl. That is, I like pork shoulder a lot. Enough to make a 10lb roast of it, at that. This was a breeze so I’ll lay it out for you: You rub it down with this 5 spice and other stuff mixture, then put it in a low, low oven for a long long time. After that, you pull it out and eat it.
I started it before I went to bed.
Flipped it right side up before I left for work. (The first 8 hours is supposed to be skin side down.)
And dug into it when I got home. (In truth, I should have just pulled it and broke off a handful then and there before I left for work. It would have been done at that point. The extra 8 hours just proved to dry out a good thick portion of the outer layer, which should have merely been a nice uniform shell, solid and toothsome, yet edible. As prepared, the outer layer had to be discarded because it had become leather and/or burnt––a disappointment. However, the tough, sinewy interior meat had been transformed into such a luxuriously decadent example of the virtues of slow cooking, that at the time I was happy to over-look the disastrous atrocities inflicted on the outer-regions. But thinking back on it now , if I were more rancorous individual (hardly believable–I will bitter you to death!) I would pen a letter of grievance to the good Hugh demanding reparations, for I hate to see good pig go to waste. Maybe he has a google alert, though, yeah? Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)