The flavors are still on my tongue. Am attempting to bring you some word, some phrase or metaphor that can describe what the last 12 some odd hours were like. Please click on the image and just sit with that for a moment while I collect my thoughts.
Over the past month I’ve been monkeying around with this clay chicken cooker thing. The last dish I made was exceptionally proud of, for several reasons. Not only was it a winner in the chicken & rice casserole flavor department, but it cost just under 5 bux total. This is the dish where I learned that an entire, diced onion is too much. How did I find out? Ask the boys as they dove out the car’s windows the following morning, heh. I still got it.
All along, been wanting to do a pork roast of any kind in the thing, duh. Sunday afternoon found me at Joya de Ceren, visiting Omar and seeing what tasty treats I could find in his meat cooler. Pork shoulder baby! 3.5 pounds of a really great looking hunk of meat. I grabbed the ingredients I thought I needed and expected to have that sucker in the oven within an hour or so.
That didn’t happen. Too much relaxing and one too many naps, the day was gone. There’s always Monday!
Man, I got home Monday and was in no mood. I could tell where this was going, the days would slide and so would the pork. Nope, I had to make it work and it had to be now. All the ideas of making my own Mexicanny dry rub went right out the window. It was just after 4pm and had only just jacked the oven to 300, I had to move.
Wash, dry meat and let the chill come off. Rub with extra virgin and grab Scott’s Survival Spice. This ain’t just some old premade nothin’ blend. Scott put a lot of time and effort in to this rub and it shows. If I don’t have any of mine laying around, or no time to make one, this is the one to grab. And brother, or sister, I’m glad I did.
Sliced a white onion in to rings and laid on the bottom of the roaster. And maybe 8 cloves of garlic, whacked once with a knife, peeled. One thing I’ve noticed about cooking in the clay oven, I’m far more thoughtful about moisture. That is to say, what you put in there, even an onion, will add moisture that doesn’t escape, much. So, just the little amount of onion, garlic and the moisture in the meat was enough to cook this thing for 9 hours.
Here it is in a nutshell, onion, garlic, dry drubbed meat, 300 for 4 hours, down to 250 for 5 hours. Pull, let rest for an hour or so and refrigerate. Total cost is about 8 to 9 dollars, not counting 9 hours of natural gas pouring in to my range. I know I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m putting the flavors, texture, juice factor and pully apartyness at the very top. I would say this roast could very well be the best pork shoulder I’ve ever received from my oven.
ps – I didn’t soak my cooker because the inside upper and lower lid are glazed. Not sure soaking it with water would have done anything positive.