Saturday, September 28, 2013

Slow Roasted Bone-in Pork Butt with CRISPY SKIN Fat Cap


"A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS"
but i'll add a few more...

slow roasted, unctuous fall-off-the-bone tender, pull apart pork butt-shoulder-picnic roast.

COMPLETELY COVERED IN CRISPY SKIN

it might take all day, but it is so worth the wait.  there's not much work to it and it will surely be a big hit at your next gathering.

put this baby in the middle of the table...
say, "ready-set-GO"



I CAN'T PASS UP THE $6.00 - 6 LB. PORK BUTT
i'm a big fan of the 8 hour pork roast while you sleep...
BUT...i found a very interesting and informative post about crispy skin roasted pork shoulder.  same concept with one very important extra step...CRISPY SKIN!  
many thanks to Kenji Lopez at Serious Eats for breaking down the science of "the crispy skin" in a way that most of us can understand.
below is a direct quote and just a snippet of information from   J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.  he is the Chief Creative Officer at SERIOUS EATS.

"When roasting at 375°F, because the dehydrating and protein-setting is taking place at the same time that the connective tissue is breaking down, there's never really a stage when the skin is relatively structure-free. It goes from being firm through connective tissue directly to being firm through dehydration.
On the other hand, after 8 hours in a 250°F oven, the pig skin has very little structural integrity—there's really very little holding it together and it closely resembles a bundle of tiny balloons just waiting to be filled.
How do you fill those balloons? Let heat do the work for you."


SLOW ROASTED BONE-IN PORK BUTT WITH CRISPY SKIN FAT CAP
this slightly adapted recipe is from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at SERIOUS EATS

5 to 6 lb pork shoulder BUTT 
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
cumin
chili powder
2 onions, sliced thick
8-10 cloves garlic

preheat oven to 250F.  prepare a baking dish/roasting pan with extra thick aluminum foil.  lightly oil the aluminum.  i have had one stick to the foil, so now i oil.  lay the onion slices and garlic cloves out for the roast to rest on. 
start with a pork butt bone-in, skin-on...butt should have a "fat-cap".  rinse the meat and dry well with paper towels.  


to score the skin...or not to score the skin...

i chose to score the skin.  as you can see, i did not do a beautiful job, butt i was not going for the "show case shoulder".
there are no exact measurements for the seasoning...just season the whole piece.  i suggest you do this over the sink and rub the seasoning all over.
place the butt on the prepared onion/garlic roasting pan.
put in oven for 7-8 hours.  pork should be done when fork tender.  OR...as the original recipe states...insert a knife.  if you can easily turn the knife around in the meat, you are ready.
remove pork from the oven.
tent and let rest for 20 minutes.

above is what it looks like after 7 1/2 hours at 250F
before crispy skin stage.

CRISPY SKIN STAGE...
crank the oven up to 500F.  you might want to move the cooked butt onto a rack or a clean piece of oiled aluminum foil pan. so as not to burn the onions, garlic and drippings.  put pork in HOT oven and watch for the skin to crisp up.  you might want to rotate the pan a few times for an all over crisp.  watch carefully.  it can go from crisp to burnt in a matter of minutes. 
remove from oven when it is good and bubbly crispy looking.  let rest for 15 minutes and...

DIVE IN!

NOTE...my "butt" was tender, but meaty.  it fell off the bone, but was not oozing-ly juicy.  i was wondering if the super slow roasting renders out more fat than a higher temp.?...or was it that i got a lean butt.  not to worry...
this is FABULOUS...beyond.
sorry to say, i did not have a party of people to serve, but what a show stopper!  i ate my fill of crispy skin and pulled pork... i bet i could have devoured the whole thing, but i put a few large pieces in the fridge wrapped in parchment in a large tupperware.
the next morning i was able to re-crisp the skin and get some lovely slices off the larger chunks.

SO...this saves and serves well for the next few days.  the skin WILL re-crisp (with care) in the toaster oven.



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