Cuban Pork and Sauce: Day 3 (Printer-Friendly Version)

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Cuban Pork and Sauce: Day 3

Ingredients:

  • Slow-cooked pork shoulder, thoroughly chilled
  • Cooking juices from slow-cooked pork shoulder
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 2 drops liquid smoke, optional

Use a spoon to remove the congealed fat from around the pork shoulder.  Discard the fat.  Transfer pork shoulder to a large cutting board, preferably one with a groove to catch juices.  Otherwise, keep the paper towels handy!  Let sit while attending to the pan juices.

Pour the cooking juices that surrounded the pork through a fine mesh strainer positioned over a saucepan.  Remove and discard any solids left in the strainer.  Add the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, dried mustard powder and liquid smoke to the cooking juices.  Whisk until evenly combined and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Allow to boil (while working on shredding the pork) until reduced to about 1/4 of the starting volume.  Set aside until pork is fully shredded.

Pull the bone out of the pork and discard.  Scrape as much fat as you can from the outside of the pork shoulder.  Throw away the fat or give it to your spoiled and lazy dogs. Pull large chunks of the shoulder apart.  It should naturally come apart at places where there is additional fat you can remove.  Take as much of the fat out as you can without wasting meat.

Using your hands -or two forks- shred the meat into small pieces.  When you’ve shredded all the meat, you can leave it as is or chop through it quickly with a knife to ensure that you have small bite-sized pieces.  It depends on what you’ll do with the pork.  I usually run through it with the knife since I have so many little mouths eating it.  When pork is fully shredded (and chopped, if desired) transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with sides.  Pour the reduced pan juices over the pork and toss.  Tightly cover the pan with foil.  If you plan on serving it immediately, put into a preheated 350ºF oven and heat for 25 minutes, or until hot all the way through.  If you are preparing this ahead of time you can either place the pan directly into the freezer or into the fridge.

To reheat from chilled:

Place, still covered in foil,  in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

To heat from frozen:

Place, still covered in foil, in a preheated 350ºF for 45 minutes, or until heated through.