Known under many different names such as pork shoulder butt, pork butt and pork shoulder blade this cut of meat is a piece that comes from the front shoulder. It runs from the front ankle to the middle portion between the shoulder blades. Made up of the whole joint, this portion is marbled with fat making the meat flavorful and juicy when cooked. However, this cut also tends to be tough due to the large amounts of connective tissues that it contains.
The key to making this cut tender is long cooking hours paired with the right internal temperature in order to breakdown the connective tissues. Many recipes do this through roasting or braising for an extended period. One way to achieve the same results with much less hassle is through sous vide. This technique uses the same principles of slow cooking and temperature control. However, the use of a water bath and a vacuum pack eliminates the need to keep watch over the meat as it cooks.
During the sous vide process, any desired seasoning and spices may be added to the pork shoulder. Once done the meat may be used as is, or be paired with other ingredients to be used in different dishes. Ready to eat meals using pork shoulder may also be made using this technique. Sous vide pork shoulder is a versatile meat that can be used for more than a regular roast or pulled pork dish.
For medium rare cooked pork shoulder, the meat should be held at 135°F or 57.2°C, while medium cooked meat is done at 145°F or 62.8°C. If a traditional well done shoulder is desired, it should be cooked at 155°F or 68.3°C. No matter what temperature range is used, the pork shoulder should be cooked for 1 to 2 days. For a crisp or well done outer part, sous vide pork shoulder may be finished by searing, grilling or torching.
Just because summer is coming to an end doesn't mean we can't still enjoy a few last, good summer meals! This sous vide pulled pork recipe is easy to make and you can finish it off on the grill for lots of additional flavor.
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