Monday, May 28, 2007

Roasted Pork Shoulder

I hope you have a good weekend.

"What is the difference between baked and roasted?"

Answer: Basically the cooking term "baking" refers to the method of cooking food in the dry heat of an oven. According to Williams-Sonoma Cooking Companion (Time Life Books 2000), the terms "baking" and "roasting' equally refer to the method of cooking uniform pieces of meat, poultry or vegetables in a small amount of fat or liquid in an open pan or dish in the hot, dry air of the oven. "Baking" is most usually associated with the process of making baked goods like cakes, pies and cookies. While "roasting" generally refers to meats, poultry, large fish, and vegetables.

I think the origin of he words may be the difference also, spit-roasting- impaling meat on a metal or wood spike and turning it continuously near the radiating heat source...McGee H. (2004) On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Scribner.

Have you ever spit-roasted a cake? If you have, I am very impressed.

I highly recommend getting an over thermometer to make sure your oven is really at the correct temperature. I lived in an apartment once where the actual oven temperature was 75 degrees above what I set it at! That's a huge difference over a few hours.

1 boneless pork shoulder with skin if possible (about 4 pounds)
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
Smashed 1 handful fresh thyme
4 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

The night before toss everything into a ziplock bag and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator. If you cannot do that try to let it marinate at least an hour.

1. Take the shoulder out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
3. Roast for 3 hours.
4. After 3 hours take it out of the oven and let it rest at least 30 minutes before slicing and eating.