Sunday, December 7, 2008

Week 11: Forever Pork

Okay, my boyfriend has been reading cookbooks again! A friend of our’s discovered Adelle Davis’, Let’s Cook It Right, cookbook and I had never heard of her, but this woman was writing cookbooks back in the 1940's and knew her stuff. We realized after reading some of her book that we don’t know how to cook meat! Period. I think we all want our food cooked quickly and we are willing to sacrifice taste and flavor to get our food cooked in 30 minutes! Adelle has radically crazy ways of cooking meat and the key is low heat and cook it for days. We decided to try roasting, which is a dry heat method, and purchased a 4 lb. pork shoulder for $1.19 per pound, so our investment in this little experiment was low. We ended up cooking the pork shoulder in the oven for 19 hours! Yes, that is not a typo, 19 hours. One would think that just shoe leather would be left and we were a little worried about food poisoning, but Adelle could not steer us wrong. The meat was so juicy we could not believe it! The outside had a nice crust, looked like a smoked ham, and the inside was moist, tender, and full of flavor. We were amazed and realized we have a lot more to learn about cooking meat.

I would recommend picking up one of Adelle Davis’ books at a used bookstore or online. Most of her books are out of print, but if you can find one, you will learn more about cooking than just watching the Food Network. (Love that channel!) Try the ultimate way of cooking hillbilly, long and slow.

Forever Pork:

  • Picnic pork shoulder

  • Olive oil

Special items needed: lots and lots of time

Step 1: Place your pork shoulder in a roasting pan and brush on some olive oil. Put the fat side up.
Step 2: Insert oven thermometer in pork.

Step 3: Cook it forever. Okay, pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cook the pork at 300 degrees F for 1 hour to make sure you are killing any bacteria on the surface.

Step 4: After 1 hour at 300 degrees, turn the oven down to 200 degrees. If you can get it to 160 degrees, then even better. We started at 150 degrees and turned it up to 200 degrees after 10 hours because we were a little worried it would not be ready for dinner the next day. We just keep watching the internal temperature of the pork and it was slowly rising. We ended up turning it up to 250 degrees for the last few hours, just so we could have dinner. We started at 10 pm and had the pork for dinner the next day at 5 pm. Adelle says that the slower you cook meat the more tender it will be. If you can stand it, cook the meat at the temperature you want the internal temperature of the meat to be and forget about it until it is done. (Make sure you have new batteries in your cooking thermometer)

Step 5: Cook pork until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees. Take it out and let the pork rest for 10-20 minutes. You could even take it out at 150 or 155 degrees, since the internal temperature will rise about 10 degrees as it rests. We had almost no drippings in the pan, just some olive oil that dripped off. Just carve it up and you are good to go.

This recipe is not hard, actually the easiest thing we have ever cooked, but you should have seen my boyfriend’s impatience at how long it was taking to cook the pork! We are believers now, just cook on low heat and you will have juicy, tasty meat! We also did some research on trichinosis, which is the fear with pork. We found out that trichinae, (the evil worms), die at a temperature of 122 degrees F for an hour of cooking or at 131 degrees F for several minutes. So there are no worries of getting trichinosis. Live a little and try the hillbilly way of low and slow! Enjoy!

Recipe credit to: Let’s Cook It Right, Adelle Davis


Jeannette said...
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Jeannette said...

Looks Delicious! I have cooked meat for a day and a half before but have never told anyone, he he he.... til now. I have noticed that meat gets very tender if cooked slowly. I'm glad you shared your book.