Monday, November 14, 2011

The best $7 spent this year!

I know I make a lot of lofty claims on this blog... what can I say, it's my style!  I promise you though, this one is worth it and totally worth the proclamation!

First a little back story......

Knowing that I had a rare low key weekend on the books was something I was truly looking forward to.  Starting next weekend this foodie will be off to holiday parties and traveling.  So this was one of the rare weekends I could throw something in the oven for 4 hours and actually be home to enjoy it at the end.

I began plotting my menu mid-week by looking thru the blogisphere and interwebs.  I wanted something that I could cook low and slow in my dutch oven.  Pork shoulder came to mind but honestly I was a bit frightened.... I have never attempted to cook a full hunk of bone in meat before.  Would I be able to cook it properly till it falls off the bone or would it be dry and overcooked...

After many searches I picked this recipe for inspiration.  Simple, straight forward and it looked hella tasty! See....
Who wouldn't want to make this?!?! source
So Saturday morning I set out to Stop & Shop with my weekly grocery list in hand (they had the best deals this week).  The weekly flyer said it had pork shoulder on sale for $1.69 a pound!  Can we say perfect timing??!!

My luck improved when I arrived at the butcher section.  Not only did they have plenty of fresh pork shoulder with the bone in but they also had 1/2 shoulders!!!  I love to eat, but honestly there is NO NEED for 2 city girls to have 10lbs of shredded pork in their apartment!
4lbs for $7! 
I brought home my loot and popped this bad boy in the oven after the easiest prep EVER!!  Honestly, I had this bad boy in the oven and cooking in under 10 minutes!!!  I chopped 1 onion in 4 pieces, cut 2 celery stalks in half and added 4 whole cloves of garlic to the dutch oven.  
How easy is that?!?!
I then added about 1/2 cup of Gyoza Dipping Sauce from Trader Joe's.  (It had all the ingredients I liked about the recipe I found earlier in the week)
Add your shoulder to the pan, flip and coat it in the sauce.   Cover and place in a 325* oven for 4 hours.  Flip the shoulder every hour (allows the meat to get all the flavor in it)

After 4 hours you have the most amazing fall off the bone pot of pork waiting for you.....

The steam has made this all blurry.....
I could barely get this out of the pot without it falling off the bone... AMAZING!  I was so proud of myself at this point!  Did I mention this hunk of heaven cost $7?!

The most time consuming task for this entire endeavor is up next.  Grab two forks, one in each hand and start shredding...  You will be left with this pile of goodness

Once you shred your pork go back to your dutch oven and spend a moment admiring the plethora of instant gravy waiting for you!  All you need to do is strain, add flour & butter, stir and VOILA! You have a homemade gravy that would make your mom weep with joy!
Strain (remember that goo used to be a full onion and celery, now just mush)

Add butter & flour and whisk away over a low heat
Once your gravy has thickened a bit, you are ready to eat!  I dumped all my pork back into the gravy to soak up but you can decide for yourself whether to eat it with or without the gravy.

I planned on having this with a baked sweet potato but by the time it came out of the oven, I was really just craving the meat and the rest of my Chickpea Salad from lunch at KO Pies. We all know how much I love this place! I will save my sweet potato for breakfast.

So for $7 of pork, 4 hours in the oven and the least amount of prep work EVER this foodie made a dish that has instantly made its way into the top rotation of meals!  Not to mention I have enough pulled pork leftover for the entire week!  I foresee pulled pork burritos, pork and ramen broth, pulled pork salads and pulled pork quesadilla this week!

Please make this!  You and your wallet will thank me, I promise!  Oh and if you do, please invite me over!  I cannot get enough of this moist and flavorful goodness!!

What is your favorite lazy day dish to prepare?