Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spanish Brined Pork Shoulder

Easy?  Yes.
Delicious?  Absolutely.

Brining is a basic technique that imparts a phenomenal flavor to any cut of meat.  Here, it makes a skin-on pork shoulder shine...

Spanish Flavor Brined Pork Shoulder
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp brown sugar
5 garlic cloves - crushed

Combine salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, paprika, sugar, and garlic with 2 qts of water in a large pot.  Heat over medium heat until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Let cool completely.  Add the pork shoulder and cover with additional water to make sure the pork is completely submerged.  Refridgerate for at least 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Put the onions, garlig, herbs, and the wine into a roasting pan, placing the drained and dried pork shoulder on top - it's ok if some of the peppercorns stick to the pork.  Bake partially uncovered for at least 4.5 hours or until the pork comes away from the bone and the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees.  Baste occasionally with the juices in the roasting pan.  If the liquid evaporates, add more wine or water to keep onions from burning.  When pork is done, the mixture in the pan can be pureed and strained for a sauce, adding a bit more wine if necessary.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with toasted bread, manchego cheese, roasted peppers, etc.