Sunday Supper: Fennel-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Salsa Verde

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.


Rubbed with fennel, roasted for hours in a low oven and finished on the grill, pork shoulder is enlivened by tangy, tarragon-laced salsa verde. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Pork shoulder is one of the most alluring, satisfying cuts of meat money can buy. Yielding enough to feed a crowd, it's forgiving of long cooking, unctuously fatty and able to stand up to flavors both subtle and bold.

This version, inspired by Tyler Florence's take in "Stirring the Pot," cooks first in a low oven, taking on the tenderness of a roast before getting a final finish—and hit of smoke—from the grill. Both approaches work on their own. (Or, a smoker will certainly do.) However, by combining roasting and grilling, you achieve the best of both worlds: tenderness and a crackly texture.

Adding allure, the meat's fatty layer gets a chance to melt to the point of buttery goodness, flavoring the meat before crisping on the grill. Just watch out for flare-ups during the final stage; placing a drip pan beneath the meat and arranging coals around it helps prevent the problem.

The briny, lively salsa verde that goes with sports a touch of sweetness from golden raisins. This cuts through the fat and lends a bright, contrasting freshness. However, feel free to make a pan gravy with juices to go with. Just deglaze with water or beer, add a healthy dollop of Dijon mustard, and reduce.

Note: Don't rule out using a gas grill. Just place the meat on the top grate of a preheated grill. This gives meat an appropriate distance from flames and allows room for a drip pan to be placed below.

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Fennel-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Salsa Verde »