Tuesday, December 19

Big Pork Report

Not too long ago I created a post discussing my purchase of a pork shoulder. After a lot of procrastination, since the expiration date spanned an incredible amount of time, I finally cooked up this big pig.

The shoulder was huge! Well, maybe no bigger than normal, but it was a little bit too big to fit into my crock pot. So, I had to scour through the cupboards and find the monster 12 quart stock pot kept around just for such emergencies. I prefer using the plug in crock pot but the stove works just as well if you can find the right temperature.

Here's an important tip. On some stoves, even on mininum, the bottom of the stock pot can get too hot and scald or burn your food. However, I did finally manage to find a little cooking implement which helps solve this problem. Basically, a small metal wire, in this case shaped like a star, keeps the bottom of the stock pot away from the burner. This keeps the burner element from directly touching the pot and seems to distribute the heat more evenly.

To cook the pork I simply unloaded some cans of appropriately flavored soup. Oh, I did also add some cayenne pepper. Not much of that flavor made it into the pork itself, but it does add a nice touch. I did have a bit of trouble getting the right setting on the burner, so, late at night I'm fiddling with the burner, trying to get the water too hot to touch without actively roiling and boiling.

To make a long story short, upon waking the next morning it was time to turn off the stove and let things cool down. I spent a good portion of my evening with a huge pork shoulder in a bowl, pulling chunks of meat off the shoulder, and then pulling those apart into small pieces. The pork was very tender so this was quite easy, if a little messy. However, I moved the operation to the living room and was able to "watch" a movie while thusly occupied.

Of course, lately I've been eating a fair amount of pork. Because there was so much I've frozen small bowls of it. Strangely, one of my favorite uses for this is to eat it like cocktail shrimp. I'll take a bowl out of the freezer overnight, so it will be thawed, but just barely, the next day. Then, I'll grab one strip at a time and dunk it in mustard, BBQ sauce, whatever and munch away.

It's really good!

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The Frugal Place said...

I really like to cook pork shoulder in the crockpot and then use it later for enchillads. :) Yummy!