Here we find Biggles’ Pork Nurse inspecting the new arrival, pre-op if you will.
I picked up this interesing cut of pork at Mercadito San Juan yesterday after work. The butcher is an interesting guy, his meat changes on a daily basis. What I mean by that is one day they have a load of center cut pork chops and the next, they gone. One day they have a load of whole chickens and chicken pieces and today they’re gone. Last week they only had one kind of white fish with shrimp and last night 1/4 of the cooler was filled with fishy items. While this might make some people crazy, I love it because it keeps me on my toes. And you have to admit it sounds kinda nice to have some variety in your meat selection.
I knew I didn’t have time to cook this roast on a week night, but I bought it anyway.
The cut intriqued me. I could tell it was pork and came out of the shoulder somewhere, but it’d been trimmed lean and matched the 40 other pieces exactly. The roast came to maybe 3 pounds and had the bone removed. I normally like having my bone in there, but i figured it was something I could work with.
I got home a little after 4 and started the oven right up. Even though the roast was small, it was going to need no less than 2.5 hours roast time to get it edible. Sure you can eat a pork shoulder at 150 degrees, give or take. But you aren’t going to get the tenderness, nor the flavors needed until at least 200 to 220.
The little dear got a sploosh of extra virgin and the juice of 2 smallish lemons. I used my basic dry rub, 4 parts paprika, 2 parts onion powder, a part or 2 of celery seed (ground), salt, 2 parts chile powder, 1 part black pepper, cumin and some oregano for good measure.
Since my back was against the wall for time and I knew dinner would be late at this point, I decided to not only preheat the oven, but the cast iron fry pan with trivet installed smoking hot as well. This way the roast would hit the 350 oven at a fast pace. You have to be careful though, you don’t want to cook out all the fat either. And since this roast was on the lean side, one has to tap in to your Meat Fu to get it right.
I think for what it was, I got it right. It wasn’t a pull apart roast, but it was tender, had some juicy and followed it all with crispy bits. It spent 2 and 3/4 hours in the oven.
To sum it all up, while it was a good porky roast, these cuts really need a bit longer in the oven or smoker. I’m glad I did it and most certainly enjoyed watching Nurse Pork work, you bet. If I were going to do this again, I’d knock the temp down to 325 and extend the cook time by another hour or so.