Roast pork is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods. My mom used to always make it in the slow-cooker when I was a kid, and my brothers and I loved it. It was never anything wild, but it was simple and delicious and super versatile, so it was a welcome change from whatever healthy lemon chicken or steamed broccoli she was usually trying to make us eat (I know you meant well, Mom!). We would make sandwiches or sliders with it, obviously, but then we’d also maybe eat it with rice, or on its own alongside a simple salad. We were also known to just microwave some of it to eat after school. You can literally do anything with it. So, I’ve evolved a bit and while I’m no longer making my mom’s tried-and-true pulled pork in the slow-cooker, my new favorite treat is a roast pork butt or shoulder, cooked low and slow in the oven for hours and hours, until it’s fork-tender and the skin is a crisp, nearly blackened color. It’s a thing of beauty, really. I went and slathered this particular piece of pork with gochujang, which is a fermented Korean red chili paste. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and all-around awesome. I add it to anything that I’m not sure what to do with. It makes a great marinade, but you can also just use it as a hot sauce. My friend’s mom sent me a huge tub of it that I’m still working through, but I figured this would be a perfect use for it. The pork really doesn’t need much when it’s being cooked slowly, as the fat has time to make its way through the meat and that adds a ton of flavor all on its own. The gochujang adds a little heat and a little sweetness–just enough to get your tastebuds excited. I chopped this pork up and made sliders, then wrapped them in foil and brought them to a bar for friends where they were immediately consumed, but you can make whatever you want with it. I have feeling you could make some pretty killer stuffed quesadillas with some of this roast pork, or a really great salad with some summer peaches and maybe some sliced almonds. Go nuts! The world is your oyster…only the oyster is made of pork.
Frozen drinks stuff, beach stuff, and work stuff – follow what I’m up to on Instagram or on INSIDER!
Pork aside, things have been busy, as ever, but what else is new? I’m doing something different at work every day, either going to a restaurant to shoot some delicious food, or in our test kitchen working on recipe testing or whatever else. We’ve also got a ton of travel coming up. Next weekend, we’re headed to Denver, then the following weekend, we’re going to the Caribbean (Nevis, to be exact). Any recommendations for restaurants/breweries/etc. in Denver would be much appreciated! We only have two-and-a-half days there, but I’m looking forward to seeing these things called trees and riding a bike alongside what I’ve heard is a not-contaminated body of water. Very exciting, indeed.
It’s about to get delicious up in here.
Rub your gochujang, salt, and sugar all over the pork, then let it sit in the fridge for a while, or as long as overnight.
Then row it low and slow at 275 for 5-6 hours, until fall-apart tender.
I prefer to chop my roasted pork, but you can shred yours, too.
That’s good eating.
- 5-6 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- ¼ cup gochujang paste (or any mild red chili paste)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- If your pork has skin on it, cut shallow cross-hatches in the skin with a sharp knife - this will help prevent it from tightening and peeling away during the cooking process. If your shoulder doesn't have any skin on it, good for you (though I think the added fat/insultation makes the pork extra delicious).
- Combine the gochujang, salt, and sugar in a small bowl, and rub it all of your pork shoulder. Wrap that sucker in plastic wrap, place in a dish to prevent any leaking, and let sit for at least 3 hours, though overnight is always best.
- When you're ready to roast, unwrap your pork and place it in a heavy-bottomed cast iron pan or Dutch oven. Roast the pork in a 275 degree F oven for 5-6 hours, basting it occasionally in its own fat. The skin should become dark and caramelized, but it's not really all that great eating, so don't worry if it looks really dark. If you need to, cover the pork in foil to prevent the top from overcooking if you shoulder is skinless.
- When ready to eat, remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Move the pork to a chopping board and start shredding or chopping (I like to do a combination of both). Toss the pork in the juices from the pan and serve on slider buns, over rice, in soup, on a salad, in tacos, or just eat it straight up. It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.