Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Yucatan-Style Slow-Roasted Pork

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

When eating alone, it's a good idea to have an artillery of options lined up in the fridge and freezer so your meals don't become too monotonous. For Serve Yourself, Joe Yonan has created a handful of what he calls weekend projects (read: long cooking times) that are versatile enough to make their way into all sorts of meals to come.

His Yucatan-Style Slow-Roasted Pork is one of my favorites, a lovely slow braised pork shoulder slathered with a Mexican spice rub and left to cook until falling apart tender. Although the cook time is four to five hours, it only takes about 20 minutes to get the shoulder into the oven; after that, the slow heat does all of the work. Overcooking isn't really an option here—an added hour or even two will really just render even more of the pork fat into the meat and give the spices a chance to really permeate.

Once your pork is roasted, it can be portioned out and incorporated into all sorts of easy weeknight meals. It makes a killer pulled pork sandwich (even better when topped with some slaw), incredible tacos (especially with some quickly pickled onions), or on its own with rice and beans. Yonan even uses this slow roasted pork to make what he calls a "faux-lognese" sauce, by cooking it down with carrots, celery, shallots, white wine, and crushed tomatoes.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Serve Yourself to give away this week.

Adapted from Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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