Sunday, January 25, 2009
Cherry Lambic Glazed Smoked Pork Shoulder Butt
I was doing a little shopping at the local P-Chops yesterday when I stumbled upon this porky little gem next to all of the ham.
It is a Daisy Rose brand Smoked Boneless Pork Shoulder Butt (a little over 2 pounds). I don't believe I have seen this particular product before, so I decided to give it a go. It looked to me like the same process used to make smoked ham was applied to some pork shoulder. As pork shoulder is a deliciously fatty cut of pig this seemed a promising concept.
Unwrapped, the smoked shoulder was kind of an ugly little bastard. I decided to prepare it by boiling first, and then glazing and finishing in the oven. I covered the pork with some cool water and simmered it for a little over an hour until the internal temperature was 140 (as per instructions on the wrapping).
While this was going I made a simple little glaze of Ommegang Brewery's (read more about the odyssey I took to that particular brewery here) Three Philosopher's (a cherry lambic blended with Belgian Ale) and demerrera sugar.
I simply reduced about a 1/2 cup of the ale with a handful of sugar until syrupy. When the ham was done I scored the top, spooned on the glaze, and packed on some more of the sugar. This went into the oven for about a half of an hour during which I spooned more glaze on a couple of times.
The pork came out of the oven looking and smelling pretty good. I let it cool off for a while and then cut off a few slices.
As expected, there was a lot more visible fat in the pork shoulder then you would see in lean ham. Upon popping a nice hunk into my mouth I found there to be an intense pork flavor with much less smoke than I expected. It was very succulent, almost melting, with less of the harsh salinity that you get in a lot of inexpensive hams. The sweet, cherry glaze gave the pork an almost char siu kind of feel. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the purchase. My wife had what may be her final pregnancy craving for roast turkey last night, so I cooked her up a small standing breast. I am looking forward to a lunch of sliced turkey, pork shoulder, and dijon mustard on a whole wheat role. I definitely recommend giving the smoked pork shoulder a try if you see it around. It is a nice change of pace.