Many years ago, my culinary school “market basket style” final exam was to prepare a pork tenderloin dish with assorted, random ingredients. I passed the exam but having never cooked a pork dish before this, I was petrified of ruining it. Thank goodness I didn’t overcook it, but after that experience I never made pork again until recently. Slow roasting is one of my favorite winter activities. This delicious pulled pork dish takes a good 3 plus hours to cook. Use the time to wrap holiday gifts, drink the wine you opened for the recipe or binge watch your favorite show. The pork can be used in a variety of dishes, but I made these yummy nachos for an easy and fun dinner.
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder
- 3-4 pound skinless boneless pork shoulder (commonly called Boston Butt)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into quarters
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine (use a wine that you would drink)
- 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed large
pot, over medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides (leaving the kitchen twine on if it’s already tied together), turning often until evenly browned. Remove the pork from the pan and move to a plate, Using the fat from the pork and whatever oil is remaining, add the onion and sauté until translucent and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the whole garlic cloves and sauté for another minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits. Let the wine reduce for about 5-7 minutes. Add the whole tomatoes crushing them in the pot with your hands (or a potato masher). Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Add the pork shoulder and juices back into the pot.
Cover the pot tightly and place it in the oven. Cook the pork for about 3 hours or until it is falling apart when you break it up. If the liquid reduces too much, add about a 1/4 cup of water. Once the pork is fork tender, remove it from the oven and let it cool. It can be made up to 5 days ahead, tightly covered and refrigerated in the sauce. Adjust the seasonings before serving.
Pulled Pork Nachos
- 1 pound bag of your favorite corn chips (I love the brand Xochitl)
- 2 cups shredded pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Topping options: salsa, avocado, jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro, additional cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting tray or cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spread the nacho chips evenly on the tray. Cover the chips with the shredded pork. Top with the cheeses. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Add the chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro or any toppings you choose. Enjoy!