Things You'll Need
Nonstick cooking spray
Pork shoulder country strips
Seasonings of choice
1 cup water, apple juice or desired liquid
Lid or aluminum foil
Barbecue sauce or sauce of choice
Pork shoulder country strips are flavorful cuts of pork that come from the shoulder of the hog. These strips, which are roughly a couple of inches across each side and about 7 inches to 8 inches long, offer generous striations of fat, making them very tender when braised at a low temperature for an extended period of time. Some strips contain bone, while others do not. They are sometimes called fingers or country-style ribs and are extremely versatile, working well with a variety of seasonings and sauces once cooked properly.
Spray the cooking vessel with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle the pork strips with seasonings of choice.
Work the seasonings in to the meat with your hands, covering all meat surfaces.
Place pork shoulder strips in cooking vessel. Do not crowd the strips.
Pour 1 cup of water, apple juice or desired liquid into the cooking pot.
Cover the pan tightly with a well-fitting lid or aluminum foil.
Apply heat. If the strips are cooked in the oven, bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 90 minutes. Cook strips in a slow cooker for four hours on the high setting or eight hours on the low setting. For stove top preparation, bring contents to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes. If a pressure cooker is used, consult the manufacturer's directions.
Check strips about halfway through cooking process to ensure the liquid has not evaporated. Replenish as needed and replace the lid or foil securely.
Remove the strips from the cooking liquid when they are done. Check to be sure that the pork has reached at least 160 degrees Fahenheit. If they have been cooked properly, they will be fork tender.
Coat the strips with a sauce of choice or serve plain with sauce on the side.
For a deeper, richer flavor, sear the strips in hot oil before braising to caramelize the surface. Consider using a pork rub. Sage, thyme, onion, garlic and freshly cracked black pepper complement this cut of pork. Precook strips in simmering water for 30 minutes before adding to a barbecue grill or cook them entirely on the grill. They will be tender if the cooking is not rushed and the temperature is not too high. Grill to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
After handling raw meat, always wash your hands before touching other foods, utensils or preparation surfaces. For healthier strips, use a fresh sauce with the strips when serving. The juices in the pan will be too fatty.