Often times, I tend to go to the grocery store without a real "plan" in place of what I want to cook during the week. I try to let ingredients inspire me. What's seasonal? Which meat do I want to attempt to cook with? What does the team have on hand? Arriving at the butcher, the pork shoulder seemed to call my name like a fairytale creature luring you into a story. I took one look at that luxurious piece of meat and knew it had to be mine.
What will you need for the pork recipe you ask?
2 lbs pork shoulder, skin on and scored (diamond pattern)
1 bunch tarragon
6 sprigs rosemary
6 cloves of garlic, julienned
1 white onion sliced
1 medium jicama roughly chopped
2 apples (I used honeycrisp apples) roughly chopped
The tools you'll need are a roasting pan that has a rack you can lay the pork on top of. you will also need a medium skillet for the sauce.
For the sauce you will need:
1cup hard, non-sweet cider
2tbs heavy cream
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4tbs Maple/Apple vinegar
To start, preheat your oven to 250F (121C). Take your pork shoulder (hopefully the butcher scored the fat, but if not do this now) and season it generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Set this aside while you prep your veggies and herbs.
To the roasting pan, main area, add the jicama, apple, 3/4 of the onion, and 1 clove of the julienned garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Take the roasting rack and make a bed of remaining onion, the tarragon, rosemary and 1 clove of the julienned garlic. Place the pork shoulder on top of this bed and cut small holes in the top where you will stuff all remaining garlic. Make sure to spread the holes out evenly throughout the meat.
Place roast in the center rack of the oven and roast for 6.5-8hrs.
At the end of the cook time, take the pork out, it should be dark color with the skin still limp. You should be able to easily pull the pork apart with a fork gently. Let the pork rest in an aluminum foil tent for 20min while you make your sauce. Increase your oven temp to 500F (260C).
Take a large spoonful of the jicama, apple, onion mix that was in the base of the roasting pan and place in a skillet on medium-high. No need for oil as they should have some of the pork fat drippings coating it. While that is heating up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour in the cider. Cook this down for 1-2min until it has reduced by a little less than half and the alcohol is cooked off. Add the cream and mix. Slowly drizzle in the vinegar, making sure to keep stirring the mixture to avoid it breaking. Once you've incorporated the vinegar, immediately turn the heat off.
Once your oven is heated to 500F, remove the remaining vegetables from the roasting pan and place on a serving platter. Put the pork back on the roasting rack and on the pan and return to the oven. Cook the pork at 500F making sure to turn it every 5 min for 15min total until the skin is crispy.
Let the pork rest for another 15min then slice and place on top of the roasted veggies on the platter. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve immediately.
I do think this recipe can benefit from a little spice, maybe cayenne or red pepper flakes but overall it's a very tasty dish perfect for winter months!