"Best" is a subjective term and difficult to quantify, particularly in culinary arts. However, a cook can treat her ingredients in the best possible manner -- by pairing them with complementary flavors, using ideal cooking methods and preparing them under ideal conditions. Boneless shoulder blade pork roast, although a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, yields exceptional results when slow-cooked in a moist-heat environment with a few simple -- yet effective -- seasonings. To get the most from your boneless pork roast, choose the freshest cut possible, season to your personal taste and always cook it to reach fork-tenderness.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3 whole cloves
- 4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh sage sprigs
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 juniper berries
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 gallon water
- 3 lb. to 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup wheat ale
- 1 California bay leaf
Mix together 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt, 3 whole cloves, 4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs, 2 fresh sage sprigs, 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, 2 juniper berries, 5 black peppercorns, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 gallon water. Mix in a nonreactive container. Pour the brine in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Pour the brine in a nonreactive container and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Score the pork by inserting a fork 1/4-inch deep all over its surface. Place the pork in a nonreactive container. Pour the cold brine over the pork shoulder, place a plate on it to keep it submerged and cover. Store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours.
Heat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Coat the pork with a thin layer of olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Distribute one large diced white onion, 2 diced celery stalks and 1 large sliced carrot in an even layer in a baking dish. Place the pork on top of the vegetables.
Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup wheat ale in the baking dish. Add one California bay leaf, cover tightly with aluminum foil and place on the middle rack of the oven.
Braise the pork shoulder until fork-tender, approximately four hours. Remove the pork shoulder, loosen a corner of the foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes prior to serving.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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