Monday, March 23, 2015

Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Chipotle Dry Rub (Inspired by I LIKE PIG e-Cookbook)

Sunday night is the 37th annual International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook awards — in honor of my friend Jimmy Carbone’s e-book, I LIKE PIG: Recipes and Inspiration from New York City’s Pig Island, a well-deserved finalist, I pulled up my Kindle copy for some ideas on technique and created this Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Chipotle and Spices Dry Rub Recipe. 
Pork Shoulder with Chipotle and Spices Dry Rub (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Much like the pork shoulder recipe in the digital e-cookbook (and Julia Child’s high/low heat method for roasting a perfect crispy chicken), I used ingredients in my pantry as inspiration for the rub, browned the shoulder on high heat in a cast iron pan on top of the stove, cooked the roast in the oven on high heat for 30 minutes then lowered the temperature for a low and slow roast. I had a 6-pound shoulder — from stove to table it took 5 1/2 hours. 

Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with a Chipotle Dry Rub Recipe

Pork Shoulder, 4-7 pounds
8 T of chipotle pepper and spice dry rub (see below) 

Remove the pork shoulder out of the refrigerator one hour ahead to bring the roast to room temperature (allow at least a day for a frozen shoulder to thaw). Prepare the dry rub. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Using paper towels, dry the pork shoulder of any excess liquid.  

Heat a stove top grill pan or cast iron pan over high heat for five minutes. When hot, caramelize the fat of the pork shoulder and brown the outside turning regularly to sear all sides (about 3-4 minutes per six sides). 

Once browned, carefully transfer the pork shoulder — it’s quite heavy — to a V-shaped roasting rack or other non-stick rack placed inside a large roasting pan. Allow the pork shoulder to cool a few minutes, then rub all of the 8 tablespoons of spice mix into the fat and the meat before placing the roasting pan in the oven.  

A Cast Iron Stove Top Grill Pan Creates Grill Marks on the Pork Shoulder (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Cook at 425 degrees for 30 minutes then lower the heat to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 3 hours or until pork has an internal temperature of 180 degrees. 

After about 2 hours, check the roast at least every hour as cooking times vary greatly. When the dry rub has begun to create a crust, cover the pork loosely with several sheets of aluminum foil. Rely on your instant read meat thermometer to guide you on the cooking time -- smaller roasts may take less than 3 hours at 300 degrees and larger roasts more than 3 hours.  

When the roast reaches 180-190 degrees (F) internal temperature it is ready. Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board, and using the aluminum foil to create a tent over the roast.  Let rest for 25-30 minutes before slicing. Serves a crowd. 

Recipe for the chipotle pepper and spice dry rub 
I used a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices to powder the brown sugar and chipotle peppers and remove the lumps and bumps from the other spices. Grind each spice one at a time and blend at the end, as each spice will need a different amount of time to become a powdery consistency. 
Clockwise: Salt, Paprika, Chipotle Pepper, Brown Sugar, Yellow Mustard. Center: Cumin (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Blend together: 

2T each of: 
Brown sugar
Powdered chipotle peppers

1T each of:
Ground Cumin
Yellow mustard powder

About Jimmy Carbone’s I LIKE PIG
Jimmy is one of the most outgoing, energetic and generous people I know — he owns Jimmy’s No. 43 Craft Beer and Kitchen in the East Village and produces homespun food events, pop-up dinners, tastings and more in NYC. He’s a great storyteller too! At $1.99 for a download of this mini-cookbook, you can’t go wrong — the recipes are unique and approachable and the photo essays tell the fabulous story of Jimmy’s relationships with local area farmers, pig butchery and grand dame of all pig roasts — Pig Island — that he’s hosted for the past four years in New York City and will host again in September 2015. Rachel Wharton, the editor of I LIKE PIG, and author of EDIBLE BROOKLYN, does a fine job ensuring that Jimmy’s larger-than-life personality shines through. 

And, get your early bird and VIP tickets now: 


I am rooting for several of my friends and colleagues to win an IACP award, Jimmy included: 

For a complete list of this year’s IACP Cookbook Award finalists, click here . Announcement of winners on Sunday, March 29th. 

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