Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Porchetta~ Smoked and Braised Cuban Style

Smoked and Braised Pork Shoulder Latin Style

1 cup each of packed cilantro and flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup each of coriandercumin and fennel seeds toasted
30 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup crushed red pepper (the kind you put on pizza)
1/4 cup pink pepper berries (optional)
1 tablespoon hickory powder if you are not smoking the meat
1/4 cup olive oil (I use smoked oil that I make)
1 5-7 pound pork shoulder (get them on sale and freeze)
2# Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 large onions, quartered
2 cans of beer
1/4 cup Spice and Tea Exchange Sweet Onion Sugar (optional)
Put the cilantro, parsley seeds, garlic, pepper berries, crushed red pepper, hickory powder if you are not smoking and the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse till you have a thick paste.
Put on latex gloves if you have them, this gets messy. Cut 1 1/2 inch slits into the meat on all sides. Stuff the slits with the paste. If you have any paste left over, smear it on the meat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile set up your smoker and turn your grill on high.
Sear the meat on all sides on the grill. Then place in the smoker at about 200 degrees over a drip pan and smoke for 6 hours. If you do not have a smoker, go directly to the slow cooker or roaster but cook for 8-10 hours on low.
Porchetta out of the smoker
Prepare the roaster or slow cooker by placing a bed of Yukon Gold potatoes (small ones or cut larger ones in half) and the onions. Sometimes I add other root vegetables too. Place the meat directly on the bed of veggies. pour two cans or bottles of beer over the meat. Sprinkle the sweet onion sugar all over.
Roast at 350 degrees covered with foil or in a dutch oven. Or you can use a slow cooker on high for 4 hours (either method).  It is just that easy. The leftovers are sometimes my favorite part… tamales, tacos pulled pork sandwiches. :-)