Brown Sugar and Chili Braised Pork Shoulder

Having a spare hour or two in the afternoon, I decided to braise a whole pork shoulder for dinner. Although I run a lot, I could count on the help of a few friends—six to be precise—to finish off the beast. Pork shoulder is intrinsically delicious (oh fat, oh crispy skin, so the ode proceeds), cheap ($1.99 a pound!), and extremely easy to cook. In fact, I left the shoulder in the oven for two hours unsupervised during my evening class. No harm done. It does, however, require time, and time’s attendant, patience, for a proper preparation. Do not undertake a pork shoulder roast lightly: it is not a dish to be trifled with.

Brown Sugar and Chili Braised Pork Shoulder

1 pork shoulder, around 7 pounds

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup salt

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp paprika

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup beer

3 dried guajillo chilis

4 turnips, peeled and quartered.

1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the inside of a Dutch oven with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the pork shoulder in the Dutch oven. Combine brown sugar, water, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to form a syrupy paste. Rub the paste into the pork shoulder, covering the entire surface area. Add the beer to the bottom of the Dutch oven, and cover with the lid. Cook for 1 hour. Take the Dutch oven out, flip the pork shoulder, add the dried guajillo chilis, the cinnamon, cloves, and paprika. Return to the oven for 2 hours, covered. Take out the Dutch oven, flip the shoulder, increase the oven temperature to 350, remove the lid, and cook for 1 hour uncovered. Take out the Dutch oven, add the turnips, onions, and mushrooms, drizzle with the olive oil, and season it all with a healthy dose of salt and black pepper. Decrease the oven temperature to 275, and cook covered for 2 hours. Serve.



Filed under College Life, Columbia University, Recipes

2 responses to “Brown Sugar and Chili Braised Pork Shoulder

  1. Wow this sounds good. I don’t think I have that kind of time though! I might just have to use your recipe as inspiration for a marinade and use it on a less time-intesive meat. But oh, how I will miss the coveted crispy skin!

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