Ask most butchers what their favourite joints of meat are: We can almost guarantee that it will never be the prime cuts. Just about every butcher we know would choose the Rolled Pork Shoulder as their favourite. What hardworking joints of meat lack in quick-cooking tenderness, they more than make up for in flavour once cooked properly.
While we would always encourage you to cook your meat on the bone, we do understand that this does make the meat a bit of a beast to carve sometimes, so we also sell as a matter of course boned and Rolled Pork Shoulder – of course it is outdoor bred and free-range!
The Pork Shoulder contains many of the harder working muscles on the pig, used to propel the animal on its foraging missions, as well as digging roots and other underground deliciousness.
The meat and the muscles have a thick layer of fat over well marbled connective tissues. Our outdoor-bred free ranging pigs take almost twice as long as commercially reared animals to mature for the table, hugely improving the flavour of the meat. You end up with THE MOST delicious crackling and luscious, sweet, meltingly tender meat. Anything proper tasty takes time – to paraphrase the motto of the Slow Food Movement! By the same token, anything worth eating is also very much worth waiting for.
This joint of meat is also known as Boston Butt in America, and is much prized for slow cooking, barbequing, and its many uses in the pulled pork lexicon. Each state and probably county in the Southern states of America has their own version of barbeque. The only thing they seem to agree on is shoulder of pork is BEST for pulling.
We like the Carolina style as it is not quite as sweet as many other recipes we have tried. Take a 3kg Rolled Pork Shoulder, and make 5 or 6 deep slashes through the meat side. Make a rub containing 50g of each of dark brown muscovado sugar, sea salt, ground black pepper and crushed fennel seeds. Use 3/4 of this rub on the meat, pushing it well into the slashes, and all over the rind. Cover with film and marinade overnight. Make a “mop” (basting sauce) by adding the remaining 1/4 of the rub to a jug containing 250ml cider vinegar, 125ml water, 60ml (4tblsp) worcester sauce and 30ml (2tblsp) dijon Mustard. Cook for 6-8 hours over indirect heat on your barbeque, or in a cool oven – 110º-120ºC for 6-8 hours or overnight. Brush or baste the joint all over with the mop every hour or so. If the meat is in the oven and you are leaving overnight, pour half around the joint and baste when you can. The meat will be fabulously soft, and will break under pressure from a fork when done. Serve with good soft buns, a yummy creamy home made slaw, and your choice of barbeque sauce.
The Rolled Pork Shoulder does not take this long to cook if you are using it for your Sunday Roast – all we are saying is that patience goes a long way with this joint of meat!