If it’s pork shoulder or similar cuts, just make pulled pork. Slow cook with a little liquid and your choice of spicy seasoning until the meat falls apart. If its pork loin, pork chops are great, but don’t use S&B, get some fine grain pastry flour, salt and pepper, coat well and allow to sit on wax paper or plastic for a while, shake off excess and fry in a pan. The coating should sear quicky and seal the meat, then reduce heat and cook slowly to tenderize and finish. Make gravy with the pan drippings.
Also good for lean pork, Indonesian Pork Satay. Marinate cubed pork with onion, parsley, chopped chili pepper, and a little lime juice in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several hours. Shake the bag to remix the ingredients a few times during the process. Then skewer up the meat and onions, grill, and baste with remaining marinade liquid.
Sticking to the cuban theme, you could make Ropa Vieja with the pork. Although traditionally made with beef, pork would be equally, if not more, delicious and it could easily be converted to a crock pot recipe.
I might have to try it. I’ll see how this recipe turns out. (Who knew it would be so hard to get sherry? I found some ‘extra dry’ stuff eventually.) It says to marinate the meat for 12-24 hours. I like longer, but I don’t really want to start cooking at 2100 tomorrow!
I followed the directions and came out with a roast that was done medium-rare. I put it back in the oven. I’ve just ‘sampled’ it. It’s not falling apart as it should, so it’s still cooking. Maybe I should have used fattier pork. The marinade is pretty good. Not what I remember from Versailles, but pretty good. I think it has a little too much cumin. I sliced up an onion and put it in with the roast and marinade. It absorbed the marinade nicely.
If you want roast pork to fall apart, it takes a long time past the well-done stage. The meat basically cooks normally through its levels of doneness. Once it hits about 170 or so (give or take about 10 degrees), the collagen starts to break down into gelatin. This is where the falling apart texture starts happening. The meat sits in this zone for awhile (it can be hours, depending on the size of the roast), and then, only after the collagen has broken down, does it start rising up in temperature again. When it gets to the falling-aprart stage, it’s generally in the 190-200F range.
So, yeah, just wait. It will eventually fall apart, if it’s a cut like shoulder (with a lot of connective tissue and fat) and not loin.
Yeah, loin doesn’t do so well after hours of cooking. (Although some people have a crockpot loin/pork chop recipe that works for them, I always think the meat turns out dry and stringy with this method.)
I was assuming you probably had shoulder, since you made carnitas with it before, and usually carnitas is shoulder/Boston butt (or sometimes, made from the whole pig.) What did your cut of meat look like? This is what loin looks like. This is what tenderloin usually looks like. And this is a pork shoulder roast. Note the shape of the loin and tenderloin, the fact that it has little intramuscular fat compared with the shoulder, and the location and shape of the fat cap.
If the cut of meat you have is loin, it’s not going to fall apart, and you’re really going to want to pull it out of the oven once it hits about 150. If you like it slightly more done, you can take it up another five to ten degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Also, to help protect against dryness, this is the perfect cut to brine. Loin is good roast whole, cut into chops, or cut into pieces for stir fry.
It looks like the loin, but with most of the fat cut off. The first thing I did when I got it from the store was to take it out of the three-pack and put the meat in freezer bags, so I don’t have the label. This is undoubtedly why my pork results have been so variable; that I tend to grab whatever without paying much attention to the cut. (This is different from my practice with beef and lamb, where I do select specific cuts.)
The meat does come apart with a fork, and it’s not very dry. I think I’ll cut the remaining roast into ‘chops’. Next time I buy pork, I’ll be sure to get the shoulder.