Currently working as a cook in a Puerto Rican restaurant. Home cooking. Authentic. Biggest seller is the pernil, slow-roasted pork shoulder. Porky delish.
It's slow roasted to 180 degrees Farenheit, internally. It falls apart; pull the bones right out and twist meat with tongs to shred.
Yesterday, we pulled two of them out of the oven and let them rest for half an hour. It was time to put them on the line, and we did. I grabbed the handy-dandy tongs and made my first motion to twist the meat to shred. Nothing. "Ok". Tried to twist another piece and again, nothing. Poked the shoulder. Hard. Located the bone and it slipped right out. There was not a single tender spot on the whole shoulder.
I asked the head cook, "Was this cooked to 180, sir?".
"Yeah. I temped it myself."
"Did ya'll cook it for the same amount of time? Did y'all do anything different?"
"Nah, man. Same as always. Why? What's up?"
Showed him the poking and fruitless twisting. He responded, "What the hell?"
One of the owners' sons walked in and asked us what was up. I told him the details and he said, "Yeah. We didn't have time to get shoulders from our supplier, so we got a few from *blank*-mart."
*blank*-frikkin'-mart. I wanted to scream and yell and cry and quit.
As a fledgling business man, I am completely aware that our mode of operation is to spend the least and get the most out of it, but buying product THERE?
As a cook I am dedicated to giving the people the most enjoyable experience that I can, pouring my love into each preparation, each dish, each presentation. Cooking and feeding people goodness is part of what makes my life great.
Question #1: How can a picnic shoulder be cooked to temp and be hard?
Question #2: Should I address my concern to the owners? Risk my job by telling them that I can't conscientiously serve food to the good people of my city that came from that beast of a store? It hurt my heart, like losing a girlfriend in junior high, knowing that that garbage what crossing the pass.