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Slow cooked pork...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I have this incredible, and simple, green chili recipe that starts with some slow cooked pork.

Usually I use a cheap cut like a pork shoulder and cook it uncovered overnight at about 250 degrees. No seasoning or anything, and the next morning it's just a big chunk of falling apart deliciousness. The outside of the meat develops a nice bark and the inside is super tender.

 

My question: The person I learned this recipe from taught me to do it as described above. But another person told me to try the exact same thing except add a couple inches of water to the pot... What's the difference, with or without the water? Especially since I leave the pot uncovered in the oven.

 

I just don't want to waste a giant piece of pork in the process.

Thanks!

- Chris

post #2 of 14

Two comments, Chris. First, I can't imagine why water would be necessary. You're slow roasting the thing (just as you'd do when making barbecue), not trying a half-vast braise.

 

Second, and more important: If it ain't broke, why fix it?

 

Well, actually, three comments. Where's the rest of the recipe? Sounds great.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

That's what I was thinking... why change it if it's so darn good the way I do it.

The recipe... well, I promised never to share it (exactly with non-family)... it came from a mexican grandma.

 

But I'll tell you the ingredients!

 

  • A few pounds of cheap pork, slow cooked (my favorite is pork shoulder or country style ribs), then torn and cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Lots of Hatch Roasted & peeled Green Chilis (the giant cans of it are great, or buy it from those guys roasting them by the side of the road if you can!)
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Garlic powder (trust me, it's just not the same with actual garlic cloves)
  • Cumino (not too much!)
  • Table salt
  • 2 to 5 Jalepenos (turned to mush in the blender with some water, stems removed)

 

I like to go overboard on the amount of pork!!

This is the most addictive green chili ever!!!

post #4 of 14



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastafoodian View Post

That's what I was thinking... why change it if it's so darn good the way I do it.

The recipe... well, I promised never to share it (exactly with non-family)... it came from a mexican grandma.

 

But I'll tell you the ingredients!

 

  • A few pounds of cheap pork, slow cooked (my favorite is pork shoulder or country style ribs), then torn and cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Lots of Hatch Roasted & peeled Green Chilis (the giant cans of it are great, or buy it from those guys roasting them by the side of the road if you can!)
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Garlic powder (trust me, it's just not the same with actual garlic cloves)
  • Cumino (not too much!)
  • Table salt
  • 2 to 5 Jalepenos (turned to mush in the blender with some water, stems removed)

 

I like to go overboard on the amount of pork!!

This is the most addictive green chili ever!!!


Hi RTF, try replacing the crushed tomatoes with Tomatillos, add garlic cloves, 1/4 whole onion, whole jalapenos, and simmer in water until tender. Put every thing except the water in a blender, blend ever thing together, add the Roasted green chili's salt and cumin to taste.......................

 

The pork can be cooked in many ways, in Hawaii we would put it with liquid smoke and Hawaiian salt, wrap in two layers of foil and cook on high heat for 4 hours,this method is called kalua pig and  fork shreds the same way.

 

The way your cooking the pork is fine as long as the bottom of the pork isn't over cooking/drying out with hard uneatable pieces. If this is the case then some water on the bottom, and even cooking on a rack would also work. From what I get from your description of the dish is, your getting all your flavor when you shred the pork and mix with the green chili mixture....................Good luck....ChefBillyB
 

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastafoodian View Post


  • A few pounds of cheap pork, slow cooked (my favorite is pork shoulder or country style ribs), then torn and cut into bite sized pieces.

 

Country style "ribs" are just chunks of shoulder, so you are getting the same cut. And for an application like this shoulder, in whatever form, is certainly an excellent choice.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

That's all good stuff ChefBillyB... and that makes sense about the water. Sometimes, depending on the pot, some of the meat at the bottom does get overcooked.

post #7 of 14

Hi man,

I do a combination of local pork at work. It's a seared fillet (tenderloin in the states) and a slow roast belly. I cook a whole belly, boned out with the skin removed. I rub the skin side with salt and pepper and rib side with Chinese 5 spice. I then lay the skin back back on and place the belly on a cooling rack, into a deep roasting tray, with 1 pint of water, cover the whole tray with tin foil and roast overnight . 180 degrees c for 30 mins and then the rest at 110. I generally give it no less than 8 hours. The result is beautiful tender pork belly with a lot of the fat having been rendered out. If you pour off the juice in to a plastic and chill it down the fat will rise to the top and you can just pull it off. You get a relly good pork stock/jus. The skin will be really pliable. Cut it in to thin strips and place it on a lightly oiled and seasoned tray and roast for 12mins or so and you get perfectly straight, thin strips of crackling. The belly I chill down and cut in to 5 cm squares and pan fry fat side down to render out even more of the fat, it will go crisp on the outside but stay moist on the inside. Sorry for the long winded reply, but the only reason for the water is to make a pork jus and/or to make your tray easier to clean. Happy eating.

Jim. 

post #8 of 14

Question from a non pro here...couldn't the pork be rested on a rack in the pan?  Then maybe some water underneath for the pan's sake.

 

Or is this a dumb question? 

 

It's the way I always cook my roast chickens, on a rack (not overnight - can't wait that long!) with some water and wine to make a nice mix for a sauce one that chook starts dripping.

 

P.S. Oops just read the above post - same idea

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 14

I think someone is confusing the cooking process of an oven verses cooking in a smoker. Today’s home ovens tend to be very stable, hold the temperature consistently and the hot spots around the oven are reasonable. The use of gas or electric is also very stable.

 

A smoker can be just the opposite. To keep a smoker at a consistent 250 degrees for twelve to fifteen hours (depending on the size of the pork shoulder) takes regular checking and adjusting. It’s not like an oven where you set it and forget it.

 

On a smoker, you’re adding wood, lump charcoal or briquettes every once in awhile and that’s not as consistent as using gas or electric for heat. Those fuels in smokers also can burn at higher and lower temps from batch to batch which can alter the temp. The change in temperatures outside from rain to sunshine will require adjustments to many smokers.

 

With all the inconsistencies of a smoker, many people use a water pan to stabilize the cooking chamber. In some smokers and less experienced cooks, a water pan helps keep the heat consistent, evenly distributed and the pan of water will act as a baffle.

 

Smokers used indirect heat and where that heat comes into the cooking chamber, the temperature can be much greater (some as much as a 100 degrees) then other areas of the chamber. A water pan acts as a baffle to buffer that temperature difference and more evenly distribute the heat.

 

If you already found a good way to get a great outcome in your oven, don’t change it. If you want to try a water pan below the cooking pan, I don’t think you’ll see a difference except maybe less intense bark with the higher humidity in the oven. The high humidity may also restrict some level of rendering of the fat but that’s just speculation.   

 

Don’t set that shoulder into water however, you’re not making soup and the water will just remove the flavor. If you think that piece of meat tastes good after you cook it now, try using a rub next time and you’ll be shocked how much better it is. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, chili powders, etc. etc etc. So many combinations to try.  

post #10 of 14

I think someone is confusing the cooking process of an oven verses cooking in a smoker.

 

Venom, I don't begin to understand how you reached this conclusion. Not only has smoking not been discussed, you're also incorrect about the process. In point of fact, it is exactly the same.

 

Slow cooking, as it's being discussed, is the process of cooking a protein surrounded by dry heat, at low temperature, for a long period of time. Adding or not adding smoke is irrelevent to the process, as is the use, or none use, of a rub.

 

You're litany of why smoking can be more difficult than just popping it in the oven is generally true. But that's not a difference of process. It's merely a reflection on how successful (or not) a particularly cook will be using that process.

 

Pork cooked the way Rastafoodian describes it has been prepared that way in America at least since Jefferson's day. Would you suggest that because Thom Jefferson (or even my grandmother, for that matter) lacked a modern oven that the process was different?

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 14

Interesting to hear some of my thoughts on water pan placement in the small offset smoker echo back from the past.  Now I know how Christopher Lee felt.

 

KY is right though, there are reasons to use water in an oven for slow-roasting pork, independent of a smoker's temperature management and chamber tuning.  The benefits of a humid atmosphere is independent of the type of cooker/oven.  Keeping the early drippings liquid long enough for enough drippings to accumulate to prevent them from completely dehydrating is more or less oven specific.  Etc. 

 

The OP and anyone else with a successful method of her or his own should consider the wisdom of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" dictum.  

 

Yours in Conservative Cooking,

BDL

post #12 of 14

Yes ...for the humidity and the sauce.

This is well worth noting....slick, delicious and well worked for those of us still prepared to take the risk for the flavour and I'm saying that with a 15mm gallstone!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelskichef View Post

Hi man,

I do a combination of local pork at work. It's a seared fillet (tenderloin in the states) and a slow roast belly. I cook a whole belly, boned out with the skin removed. I rub the skin side with salt and pepper and rib side with Chinese 5 spice. I then lay the skin back back on and place the belly on a cooling rack, into a deep roasting tray, with 1 pint of water, cover the whole tray with tin foil and roast overnight . 180 degrees c for 30 mins and then the rest at 110. I generally give it no less than 8 hours. The result is beautiful tender pork belly with a lot of the fat having been rendered out. If you pour off the juice in to a plastic and chill it down the fat will rise to the top and you can just pull it off. You get a relly good pork stock/jus. The skin will be really pliable. Cut it in to thin strips and place it on a lightly oiled and seasoned tray and roast for 12mins or so and you get perfectly straight, thin strips of crackling. The belly I chill down and cut in to 5 cm squares and pan fry fat side down to render out even more of the fat, it will go crisp on the outside but stay moist on the inside. Sorry for the long winded reply, but the only reason for the water is to make a pork jus and/or to make your tray easier to clean. Happy eating.

Jim. 

                      
Served on a tart tatin spiced to marry with the chosen pork rub......yuummm!

Lifted the whole thing as reference for an old fav! ....thanks chelskichef!  (feijoas....Ssshhh..)


Edited by Titomike - 7/31/10 at 5:03am
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #13 of 14

My two son's since January are finally living NOT with Mom & Dad YEA!!  They like to report their cooking successes.  Costco sells fairly lean pork roasts in packs of two or three, each are about 2 lbs.  Costco also started selling a very good "Salsa Molcajete Verde", lots of liquid.  My son simply put the pork roast in a crockpot and poured the 24oz of Salsa Molcajete Verde in, and slow cooked for 8 hours.  When he got home the meat was falling apart like pulled pork, and the sauce imparted an authentic mex flavor to his pork.  Since the pork roast is lean you don't have to deal with all the fat as in pork shoulder.  He said is was pretty spicy too,  so beware...

 

The salsa is by Del Real, found mostly in Calif.  our local Costco stopped offering the Verde so have to settle for the Red.

Here is a link on making Salsa Molcajete Verde.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

D C Sunshine... I just never wanted to put it on a rack because there is something special about the flavor of the pork cooking for so long in it's own fat that renders off. I think on a rack (without water at the bottom of the pan) the meat would really dry out AND not cook in it's own juices.... Never tried the slow cook with a chicken, but a chicken will render a lot more fat than a hunk of pork shoulder... Hmmmm

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