23 Delicious Ways the World Cooks Pork Shoulder
We love cooking with pork shoulder. It's a versatile and economical cut that takes deliciously to roasting, braising, stewing, and slow cooking. Low, moist heat turns the meat so tender and succulent, it just falls away from the bone and practically melts in the mouth. In the U.S., pork shoulder is the perfect pick for pulled pork. Home cooks from other countries and cultures, of course, have their own delicious ways of preparing pork shoulder. Here are just some of our favorite pork shoulder recipes from around the world featuring pork shoulder—including a couple Southern-style pulled pork recipes!
Crispy Pork Carnitas
Cubes of fragrant, spiced pork are slowly cooked in olive oil until they're crispy on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside. "Bust some up on a warm tortilla, drizzle with braising liquid, top with a little salsa, onion, and cilantro, and you're probably enjoying the world's best taco," says Chef John.
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
This Texas-style pulled pork recipe features pork shoulder simmered with onions in a tangy chili-seasoned barbecue sauce. Shred the pork and serve on buttered, toasted buns. "Fall-apart tender with good flavor -- not too spicy, just enough to tantalize," says DULCINEA54935.
"Agrodolce, a generic Italian term for any type of sweet and sour condiment, really shines when used for braising chunks of succulent pork shoulder," says Chef John. "This soul-warming comfort food is amazing served on rice, pasta, polenta, or, as seen here, a big pile of ricotta mashed potatoes."
Chef John's Cuban Sandwich
Chef John makes his Cubano sandwich with pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a zesty mustard sauce. For best results, build your sandwich on Chef John's Cuban bread. "Delicious," raves Cinders57. "This is the most authentic Cuban Sandwich recipe I have found yet! Didn't change a thing!"
Spicy Peruvian Pork
You'll cut boneless pork shoulder into cubes and marinate them briefly in vinegar, cumin, turmeric, and garlic powder. Then you'll simply brown the pork and finish by simmering in orange juice, a little water, onion, and the reserved marinade. "This was so delicious! A friend of mine from South America raved about it," says crcowley.
Chef John's Pork al Latte
This flavorful, incredibly tender, melt-in-the-mouth pork shoulder stew was inspired by a classic Italian dish, maiale al latte ("pork in milk"). Chef John's version calls for crème fraiche and chicken broth instead of traditional milk. You'll slowly simmer beautifully browned chunks of pork shoulder with bacon, garlic, and herbs. The sauce develops a luxurious texture and rich taste.
Czech Roast Pork
Rub pork shoulder roast with a flavorful mixture of vegetable oil, mustard, caraway seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You'll roast the pork in a pan with chopped onions and a little beer. "Roast pork (veprova pecene) is a traditional Czech meal usually served on Sundays," says none. "Don't skip the caraway or the beer. They make this dish what it is! Serve it with Knedliky -- Czech Dumpling with Sauerkraut (Zeli) and a nice Czech pilsner."
Cantonese Barbecued Pork
You'll marinate strips of pork shoulder in sherry, ginger root, oyster sauce, five-spice powder, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, and cinnamon. "This tastes like the pork served in my favorite Chinese restaurant," says SHERRY. "Serve at room temperature arranged in overlapping layers on a platter. Garnish with cucumber slices, if desired."
Chef John's Pork and Beans and Greens
It's basically beans and greens with an Italian accent. Pieces of seasoned pork shoulder are cooked until crusty and caramelized and served with white beans sautéed briefly with sliced garlic and fresh arugula. "This meal was absolutely fabulous and super simple to make," says Kim. "Would be great for company because it is so low maintenance."
Ukrainian Baba's Pork Roast
To this succulent roast pork shoulder roast, you'll add chopped beets and prunes, serving with a quick sour cream and paprika sauce. "This old recipe features a favorite Ukrainian vegetable: beets," says Olga Drozd. "This gives the roast a red color."
North Carolina Pulled Pork
This slow-cooker pulled pork recipe features pork shoulder roast, a little ketchup, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar. So easy, it takes just minutes to prep. "I got this from a North Carolina native and it is the best," says skibunny2k. "It is pretty much foolproof."
Miso Braised Pork
To make this Japanese comfort food, you'll simply sear slices of pork shoulder and then simmmer them with garlic and ginger, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and miso. "So much umami going on here," says mrsbigbird. "The aroma is intoxicating. We serve this with rice and the gravy."
Chef John's Irish Pork Stew
This rich, delicious pork stew features Brussels sprouts, dark stout beer, balsamic vinegar, and caraway seeds. "Amazing," says manncastro. "Best stew ever! The Brussels sprouts give it an extra texture and flavor that was just yummy!"
Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew)
This meaty Polish stew "is almost a Polish national dish," says Olenka. "This is a traditional recipe from Poland. Bigos is a rich flavorful stew with sauerkraut, Polish sausage, beef, pork, red wine, caraway seeds and more. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes."
Cochinita Pibil (Mexican Pulled Pork in Annatto Sauce)
Pork shoulder is cooked in a spicy red annatto sauce, then shredded and served with habanero sauce. "This cochinita pibil recipe is straight from Mexico," says Chef Gaby Cervello.
Italian Braised Pork Shoulder
"This is a tasty, quick prep meal of braised pork that can be used in versatile ways," says Alison Willette. "It can be assembled quickly in the morning or the night before for a slow cooker meal. You can add potatoes or other veggies for a stew, or reserve the liquid to pour over rice. My kids love the leftover liquids turned into gravy for mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower."
Pork Yaka Mein a la Dug
In the slow cooker, you'll combine bone-in pork shoulder roast with chicken broth, water, bouillon cubes, seasoned salt, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, and butter. Shred the tender pork off the bone, and then cook bok choy in the savory broth. "My spin on 'yaka mein soup' with pork and bok choy," says dugpark. "It's a family favorite. Serve with condiments including crushed red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, and lime wedges."
Teriyaki Pulled Pork
"Wanted a new twist on braised pork shoulder so paired 2 simple ingredients to create a yummy sauce to a browned roast," says ShanaGator. "There were no leftovers! Great served with rice or noodles with cooked carrots and broccoli."
Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)
Chopped pork shoulder combines with pork loin and hominy in a thick broth flavored with colorful red guajillo chile peppers. "The traditional Mexican dish in the red version," says Consuelo Aguilar. "Serve with tortilla chips."
Wine and Garlic Pork (Portuguese Vina Dosh)
Cubes of pork shoulder are marinated in red wine vinegar, red wine, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, and thyme. "Ah, 'Vina Dosh,' a Portuguese dish and tradition of my family," says Cali-Chef. "It started getting passed down more than 80 years ago when my grandparents came to America from the Azore Islands! Easy to make, but lots of patience to wait for the marinade to make its magic. Serve with Portuguese Linguica and Portuguese Sweet Bread. Hawaiian sweet bread works in a pinch."
Chef John's Porchetta
Here's a simplified version of Italian porchetta with a simple and spicy vinegar and parsley sauce. Watch the video to see how to butterfly the pork, prepping it for the tasty stuffing that features herbs, orange zest, and garlic. " Everyone was raving about how tender and tasty the pork was," says tcasa.
Creamy Pork Stew
"This creamy pork stew is one of my favorite cold weather dishes of all time," says Chef John. "It's quite versatile -- you can add squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mushrooms, root vegetables. And if pork isn't your thing, this would be lovely with veal, beef, or chicken thighs. Serve on steamed rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles."
Chinese Barbeque Pork (Char Siu)
The savory Chinese barbeque pork you crave is deliciously easy to make at home. "Closest to authentic I've found, even has the actual darker more genuine color than the usual bright red restaurant versions," says Chef Ken.