Farmhouse Ale Braised Pork Shoulder & Next Day's Shredded Pork Bánh Mì Sandwiches
This is a weekend project or an endeavor for a day off work. It's a two day process, but the results are worth the wait.
I fell in love with a low-and-slow pork shoulder recipe with a cook time of 18 hours. Yes, it is an agonizingly long time to wait, but the end result is wildly crispy skin with tender, flavorful falling-apart meat. And honestly, the wait just feels tortuous because the smell perfumes the air the entire time, seductive as it is, and only robust willpower will keep you from snacking on the pork every time you open the oven to baste it.
Pork shoulder leftovers are a beautiful open road for tacos, sandwiches, salads and beyond. I adapted the original recipe with leftovers in mind, all of the above, but especially Bánh Mì sandwiches. Beer, garlic, and maple sweetness are prominent players in the braising, along with the addition of honey, scallions, soy sauce, and sliced lemon for brightness. The beer I used is a lovely farmhouse ale called Spring Batch from my hometown brewer, Mother's Brewing Company. It balances soft floral and fruit flavors, namely lemon citrus, perfectly suited for braising pork. Naturally, I got a six pack so the beer could be enjoyed on its own, too, while I waited for the pork to cook and during dinner. I'm thrilled with how the pork turned out and I absolutely love the way it works as a Bánh Mì sandwich. Dare I say that I love the leftovers more than the original meal. Enjoy! -Mallory
Farmhouse Ale Braised Pork Shoulder
8 pound pork shoulder, bone in and skin on
10 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
6 scallions, whites and greens thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 12-ounce bottles Spring Batch, or another Farmhouse Ale or Saison
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the meat to come to room temperature then use a knife to score the fat and skin side in a checkerboard like pattern. Grind garlic and salt together into a paste using a mortar. Add soy sauce and stream in grapeseed oil. Stir in cayenne and black pepper. Rub the 1/2 paste over the meat, then place it skin side down in a large roasting pan. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining paste with maple syrup and honey.
Reduce oven heat to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip the shoulder over in the roasting pan, using a clean towel or a very sturdy tongs. Add the remaining paste onto the meat along with scallions and lemon slices. Pour 1/3 of the beer onto the pork and return to the oven to bake for 18 hours, adding the remaining beer in two intervals and basting every few hours. You can slide the pork into the oven before bed and have it ready to serve for dinner the next day. Good luck with sleeping though, the smell will wake you up and have you grateful you're not dreaming.
Bánh Mì Sandwiches
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
5 radishes, julienned
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 baguette, cut into 4 pieces (about 6-inch lengths)
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, sliced
1 pound of leftover pork shoulder, shredded
3 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, loosely packed
Whisk together lime juice and sugar. Combine with carrots and radishes in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk together mayonnaise and Sriracha then spread onto piece baguette length. Add sliced cucumbers, pork shoulder, carrots and radishes. Top with jalapeno slices and cilantro and serve.