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--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Roast Pork Shoulder Cubano

Some of the recipes in the Gourmet Cookbook call for cuts of meat that aren't commonly found in the supermarket, and Roast Pork Shoulder Cubano is one of them. It calls for an 8 lb. bone-in fresh pork arm picnic shoulder with skin. See that often?

Didn't think so.

In fact, I've never seen it, and was thinking I'd have to go further afield or special order, until one day I was browsing in the meat department at Stop n Shop and saw one. Not was I was looking for at the moment, but I snatched it up and stuck it in the freezer for later use.

I wasn't sure exactly how this recipe would proceed. Was it a braised meat recipe, in a covered dish or oven bag? Was it a roast?

Turns out it's a little of both.

One thing you do is create a rub out of garlic, oregano, salt and cumin, and not only do you rub it on the meat, you make slices in the skin/fat and create little flavor pouches.

You would not believe how tough pig skin is. I had to REALLY sharpen my knife, and even then had to use force that made me feel like a serial killer.

Your basting liquid is both lime juice and watered vinegar, and part of the time the roast cooks, covered, with that in the pan.

After a while you take off the foil and baste, baste, baste--even peeling back the now-crispy skin to baste underneath.

It cooks for about four hours, total.

When I went to carve this I peeled off the skin, and lay cuts of meat about 1/2 inch thick on the platter, while I reduced the juices a bit. The edges of the skin were crispy, but the middle wasn't, so I cut the crispy bits off with scissors and put the rest back in the oven to crisp up some more.

Hey, guess what? Crispy, salty, vinegary pig skin is really really good. I could eat way more of it than is good for me. I did, in fact. And the weird thing about it is that it's kind of gummy, somehow--I mean the fat, underneath. Don't you think it's odd that fat from, say, a chicken, a cow and a pig would be so different? Fat is theoretically fat. But it's different.

If I think too deeply about this I'll probably go back to being a vegetarian, so I'm going to stop now.

(but it's good. you should try it!)

1 comment:

The Mediocre Cook said...

I absolutely love pork! It's probably my favorite meat. My wife isn't such a big fan which I probably why I love cooking it... more for me! Although at 8lbs I don't think I would need to worry about not getting enough. The roast looks delicious!