My go-to roasted pork is David Chang’s ridiculously simple technique from his “Momofuku” cookbook. I’ve tweaked it slightly from the original: Coat an untrimmed pork shoulder (3 to 6 pounds depending on how much meat you need) in equal parts kosher salt and light brown sugar (1 heaping tablespoon each per pound of pork). Rub it into all the nooks and crannies, cover tightly, then refrigerate overnight. Drain away any liquid that accumulates, then cook the meat in a roasting pan at 275°F until easily pierced with a paring knife, 6 to 9 hours depending on size, adding a splash of water to the bottom of the pan every couple hours to prevent the pan and pork from drying out.
When the pork’s cool enough to handle, pull it apart with your fingers and shred, discarding any pockets of membrane or excess fat (don’t get too fussy—the fat will help keep the meat moist). Season well with salt and pepper, then refrigerate (or portion in zip-close bags and freeze for a month or more).
How to Use It
Italian White Beans with Greens and Garlic: A simplified riff on fagiole d’uccelleto. Briefly sauté 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and a few chopped scallions in plenty of olive oil, then add a handful of the pork, a couple cans of drained white beans, a small can of drained, diced tomato and enough water to loosen. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Add chopped arugula or spinach and cook long enough to wilt, then spoon into bowls and top with a shower of Parmesan or pecorino cheese. Add crunchy, garlicky croutons or serve with crusty bread to sop up all broth.
Kimchi-Pork Fried Rice: Chop up a bunch of scallions and sauté in oil in a broad hot skillet until just beginning to brown, then add leftover chilled rice (make extra and keep in the freezer or buy the pre-cooked stuff in the freezer section of the market) and a heaping handful each of drained chopped kimchi and roasted pork. Cook until the rice crisps a little. Drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce, give a toss, then serve with gochujang or hot sauce.
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