Alright, so I was in Joya de Ceren, an El Salvadorian grorcery in Richmond, for pork chops last night. They had some really wicked little chops all riddled with juicy fat. Yoink. Just one row over I noticed they had some pork shoulder pieces. I love pork shoulder. I rarely see it cut like this, it was cut just a tad over 2″ thick. Kinda like a pork steak, only measured in pounds. Yeah, I bought it. That and two smaller chops, two sodas came to a whopping 8 bux. But how to prepare?
I figure if I’m going to make a chop out of this … slab of pork shoulder I would like to brown the sucker first. Had to use my largest fry pan for this job. No, larger than that. Salt well with salt flakes, something hearty. I had the heat yanked up pretty darned hard, not only was the meat searing, but the oil in the pan was really smoking well during the entire time. Here, to give you an idea as to the size of the “chop”, size of the pan?
See that splatter screen, the round thing on top of the meat? That measures and easy 12″ across, yup. Doesn’t even remotely rest on the fry pan edges, rests on the meat!
Preheat oven to 350, so. Once the meat is well browned, slide a trivet under the steak. We want heat all around it like a roast, not simmering in liquid/fat. Install in to oven at lower rack for an hour and a half. Crunch on boff sides is necessary.
Those of you that know the shoulder, you knew this wouldn’t work out. And it didn’t, maybe if I’d cut that to 300 for 3 or 4 hours, then it ‘might’ have. The flavors were rich and perfect, but the texture was tough and too much. 4 bites and I was done. Lay in fridge for to make a rich pork stew this weekend. All that being said, the entire house was absolutely permeated with pork chop smells.
In fact, it took me 35 minutes of scrubbing stove surfaces to slow it down a bit. See, I have one of those old stoves with pilot lights. That means the stove maintains an external temperature, topside, of maybe 105 degrees. So, what gets splattered, you smell until the end of time.
To sum it all up, it was a lot of fun and would probably do something like that again. Oh, who am I kidding, you can count on it.