Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roast Pork Shoulder Cubano (Page 477)


  • Date: Friday, February 6, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Teri, Terry, Karen H, and Dave
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made this pork for dinner when my parents and future in-laws came to visit a few weeks ago. This recipe was pretty simple. I started with a bone-in fresh pork arm picnic shoulder with skin. I made some small incisions in the skin and rubbed a mixture of lime juice, garlic, salt, oregano, and cumin into the incisions. I put the pork in a roasting pan, poured more lime juice around it and roasted for 30 minutes. Then I added some water and cider vinegar to the roasting pan, covered, and roasted some more, basting (everything but the skin) occasionally. Eventually I started basting under the skin as well, then I removed the cover, and roasted the pork uncovered until the skin was crispy, In total this spent about 4 hours in the oven. While the meat rested I reduced the pan juices to form a sauce. I served the sliced pork with pieces of skin and the pan sauce. This pork was pretty good. Slow-cooked pork is one of my favorites. (In fact, when I made a list of requests for the menu for our wedding, on my list was "Something delicious with braised pork.") This wasn't the best slow-cooked pork in The Book, but it was pretty good. The skin was delicious (of course!) -- very flavorful and crispy. The meat was a touch dry in parts, but overall it was cooked pretty nicely. The sauce was a let down. It was so incredibly acidic and tart that it was difficult to eat. I resorted to stirring in some sugar, which made it a little more palatable. But many of us put the sauce from the mushroom charlottes (see post below) on our pork instead of this sauce. This dish wasn't bad at all, but I doubt I will make it again.

Here is the recipe.

When I was young my grandparents had a huge chest freezer in the basement -- the kind someone has always has a dead body stored in on Law and Order. I remember being barely tall enough to see inside, peering over the edge, wondering how two people could possibly eat all the food that fit into that thing!

I have been thinking a lot lately about things that I would like to have in Real Life. My special gentleman is starting a tenure-track job in the fall, and hopefully I will have a tenure-track job sometime in the not-so-distant future myself. The two of us have each moved residences every 1 to 3 years since we left our respective childhood homes 11 or 12 years ago. With such transient lifestyles, one hesitates to acquire too many things. One also hesitates to buy a house. So we have each rented all this time, and never have I rented a place quite large enough for a chest freezer. But now that my special gentleman is starting a permanent job, we have starting talking about Real Life type things: buying a house, etc... And it has got me thinking: what do I want in Real Life? Somehow I have become fixated on the freezer. It's not so much the freezer itself, but more the things it represents: owning a home, settling down in one location... To have such a freezer one first has to have the space, which I have never had in my adult life. But even if I had room for a huge chest freezer right now, I would hesitate to buy one and fill it up. You have to stay in one place a long time to get through a whole huge freezer-full of food. And I haven't done that kind of staying in quite some time.

Real Life seems a bit scary to me -- having a mortgage, having kids... these things are still very intimidating. But I am excited about going forward. With our wedding on the horizon, the one major hurdle between us and Real Life is finding permanent jobs for me and my special gentleman in the same place. Hopefully that will turn out well, and then my freezer dreams may become a reality!


Jon said...

mmmmmm, pork..... :O)

Teena said...

My sentiments exactly!