Versatile and Inexpensive, Pork Shoulder Is the Protein Every Home Cook Should Get to Know
Here are some of our favorite ways to prepare this adaptable meat.
If you're not familiar with pork shoulder, it's time to get to know this inexpensive, incredibly delicious, and impressively versatile protein. It loves to be braised, stewed, roasted, barbecued, pressure cooked, and even stir-fried, and it's the perfect foil for countless cuisines and flavor profiles, from Mexican, to French, to Chinese, and, of course, the American South. If you are into grinding your own meat, this is also the cut to use for meatballs and patties. Here our some of the best ways to use this fabulous cut of pork.
Serve It Whole
A whole roasted or braised pork shoulder makes for an impressive (and inexpensive!) main course that will feed a crowd. The Italians are known for their milk-braised pork, and the Korean dish Bo Samm has become widely popular recently. Both are made with—you guessed it—pork shoulder. For a more formal meal, try this centerpiece-worthy roast.
Try cutting up the shoulder into cubes and cooking them up into succulent stews. It's perfect for your next batch of chili. This delicious Chile Verde, made with tomatillos and green chiles instead of red chiles, is a more unexpected alternative.
Start with a whole roast, braise it in your Dutch oven or slow cooker, go low and slow on the grill, or make quick work of it in the pressure cooker. Then shred it up to top your favorite grain bowl or taco, or stuff it into a sandwich, like this classic North Carolina Pulled Pork version. You could even shred any leftovers and stir them into your favorite jar of marinara for a delicious pork ragu.
Thinly Slice It
Though pork shoulder is mostly known for low and slow cooking, if you cut it into thin strips, it cooks quickly and is wonderfully tender. It works great in stir fries.