Monday, March 24, 2014

Maple Garlic Pork Shoulder w/crispy skin

Mar 23 2014

I am like a kid with a toy, some recipes I see and know I just have to try it. This was one of those I found on Food52 by ENunn. The ingredients, maple syrup, a lot of garlic, fennel seeds, black pepper and cayenne sounded good. To top it off at the end you were to baste it with a bottle of Matilda beer, a malt fruity taste. It was for a 6 to 8 lb. pork shoulder with skin on, scored. Cooking time was 18 hours at 225 deg. in an inside oven. I adapted it to my Traeger pellet smoker.

I knew I would have to use a fresh picnic shoulder, the only skin on pork I can get around here. I could not find Matilda beer, made by Goose Island. I bought some Leinenkugels Berry Weis. It sure is fruity and ended up mixing it with half Leiny’s Hoppin Helles.

My picnic shoulder was 9.3 lbs. I trimmed about an inch of the fat off 3 sides and scored it an inch wide. I used a utility knife to get through the skin then a boning knife to cut down to the meat. I had mixed my maple syrup, olive oil, and malt vinegar and mixed my garlic paste up. Rereading the directions I saw I was supposed to add the olive oil to the garlic paste. I thought oh well it’s all going on anyways. I added some onions to the pan for flavor.

I was doing the pork in two foil roasters, makes it easier to carry and the bottom pan I could use again. I smeared 1/3 of the garlic paste over the meat side and in the roaster pan fat side down I had sprayed with olive oil. It went into a 410 deg. oven for 30 minutes. The recipe said 450 deg. but I was afraid the fat would stick when I turned it to skin side up. I used some meat gloves to turn the roast and didn’t get that much brown but figured to do at the end of the cook.

I poured about a third of the maple syrup mix over it then smeared on the rest of the garlic paste. I saved the rest of the syrup mix and basted it twice during the night and through the next morning. It went on my Traeger preheated to 225 deg. this was at 11:00 pm Sat. night. I am a little leery about doing a cook over night since my smoker is on a wood deck but at that low of temperature and with my Maverick high temp alarm set to 300 deg. I felt pretty safe.

I got up twice during the night to baste it and check on the pellets. I was using Cookin Pellets 100% hickory. I kept an eye on it all day Sunday, and got the syrup mix all on. I started basting it with the beer about 3:00.

I checked the temp at 4:15 and it was 180 deg. IT so I heated up my oven to 450 deg. to crisp up the skin. It took 15 min. to crisp the skin. I turned the oven off and left the door ajar for 10 minutes. I took it out and let set 10 minutes. Using my meat gloves I placed it on a large tray and let set another 15 minutes.
I pulled enough for my supper. I only got about half the skin crisp enough to eat but was great.

I had some Bush’s Grillin beans, southern pit style, and some bread and butter. I had some Cholula hot sauce, the pork was sweet so the heat was good on it. I was eating all alone, all that good pork! Our son had to work. My wife was at a play with a friend. My wife and daughter in law was going to get pizza at 6 but the wife was late getting home and the daughter in law didn’t get here until 6:30 and had already ate.

I had a plate fixed up for my son to pick up and share at work. My daughter in law ran it up to him. The grandson was at a neighbors playing so when the daughter in law went to pick him up I sent some of the pork for the neighbors.

Would I do it again, yes, it was as tender and moist as any pork roast I have done. I loved the flavors but would do it at 250 to 275 deg. to shorten the cooking time. I might cut back some on the fennel and would mix the olive oil with the garlic paste and do the maple syrup mix the same way as I did. Pouring all that syrup on at once would just run off and maybe burn in the pan.

 A little long winded but it was along cook!

6 hours in smoker

12 hours in smoker

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