This is one of those things I am so glad to have in the freezer when we have a hectic night and I am more parts tired mom than I am food blogger… okay, I’m always more parts tired mom… but some times more than others. 😀 Pork shoulder is a cheap cut, locally I can get it at United Grocers Cash and Carry (No, you don’t have to own a restaurant or have a business license to shop there) for around $1.50 lb. But you do have to get a pretty big bag of it. Winco is having a case lots sale through this week and has them for only 95 cents a lb. They weigh around 10 lbs each and do have a bone but it doesn’t account for much of the weight at all. I bought a few for the freezer (they came in sealed packages and can be frozen for up to 12 months) and went ahead and cooked one up for some freezer meals. From one 10 lb piece I got about 5 quarts. I freeze it in quart containers, that’s about right for our family. For best quality use the cooked pork within about 3 months.
SWEET PULLED PORK (For the freezer!)
10 lb pork shoulder (also called pork butt, pork picnic)
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T smoked paprika
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chipotle powder (more if you want it spicy)
1 cup brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can root beer (or cola)
Place the pork in a large roasting pan. Combine the spices with the brown sugar and coat the pork with it. Pour the root beer or other liquid over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 hours, until meat falls off the bone and shreds easily.
Remove any fat (this should be fairly easy to remove off the outer layer) and bones.
Meat should be very easy to shred. I just stir it with tongs.
Remove from remaining liquid and cool if not using immediately.
Package in freezer containers or bags (I get about 5 quarts from this recipe) label and freeze.
To serve: (Makes sweet pork like Costa Vida or Cafe Rio)
1 quart pork
1 cup root beer (or cola)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T tomato paste
Put the root beer, brown sugar, and tomato paste in a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine well.
Add pork and continue to heat for about 15 minutes, until sauce is mostly absorbed.
Serve in tacos, burritos, on taco salad, enchiladas, taquitos, tamales, pizza, on rolls. Or my favorite, sweet pork tostadas!
If you want a less sweet pork, replace the root beer with something neutral like chicken stock for the cooking part. (Or leave the root beer in the cooking section and just skip the serving sauce.) This makes amazing sloppy joes as well.
Use as is to serve or heat with another sauce such as BBQ.