Uses for pork shoulder

So what can I do with pork shoulder? You might be asking. The answer is... quite a lot really. Pork shoulder is an incredibly versatile cut of meat; there are a number of ways we can prepare it. One of the most common being pulled pork, much loved by the Americans and their BBQ pitmasters.

Pork shoulder was long considered a cheaper cut of meat, it’s quite fatty, tough,  and contains a lot of connective tissue, often ending up in sausages or burgers due to its great fat to lean ratio.  Pork shoulder can be broken down into a few other cuts, the most popular being the Pork shoulder on the bone, similar to what the Americans would call the Boston Butt, favoured for making pulled pork. The hand of pork is the lower part of the shoulder. Less favoured but still very tasty.

For those more adventurous cooks who are may be venturing into some smoking and curing, the shoulder of a pig has endless potential. Salami, chorizo or may be coppa. A whole muscle salami made from a muscle in the upper part of the shoulder running from neck to the fourth fifth rib. Home made charcuterie is certain to impress at a dinner party.

​The shoulder muscles of the pig are the powerhouses that go into the pigs amazing ability to disturb soil. These muscles work over time for our pigs here at Grassfruits, rooting around in the woods playing their natural roll as ecosystem rebooters. The fact these muscles have worked so hard means that with very, very slow cooking the meat will fall apart in to amazingly tender shreds and stay super moist. Ready for your favourite BBQ sauce.

Because our pigs live outdoors in a natural environment the taste of the meat is far superior to anything you will find in the supermarket. Pigs naturally dig to find their food. Whether that’s in the soil for worms, roots and bugs, or in fallen rotting logs for other tasty insects. A recent observation we have made may show that our pigs are rooting through rotting lots and eating the fungi in the logs. All adding to flavour and keeping our pigs super healthy.

We use traditional breeds of pigs such as the British Saddleback and Gloucestershire Old Spot. These breeds put on a bit more fat than more commercial pig giving them a much richer taste.

How to cook pork shoulder

Personally I like pork shoulder slow roasted in the oven for 6 - 7 hours with super crispy crackling server with some roast potatoes and homemade gravy.

How to get the perfect crackling. I find I get best results with LOTS of salt. Make sure your meat has been brought to room temperature before cooking. Turn your oven up to max. While this is pre heating rub plenty of salt into your scored piece of pork shoulder, making sure to get into all the cracks. Once you’ve done with drizzle with a little olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper. Cool on max for around 20 minutes or until the skin has buffed you nicely. They turn down to about 160 degrees centigrade and cook for a further 5 hours or until super tender.

​If you’d like to have some pork shoulder adventures of your own follow the link below. The potential uses are limitless.