Pork shoulder is the top portion of the front leg of the hog. The terminology for pork shoulder can vary widely depending on the region. However, the lower ‘arm’ portion of the shoulder is most commonly called the arm pork roast. The upper part of the shoulder, often called the blade pork roast, comes from the area near the loin and contains the shoulder blade bone.
The blade roast is a well-marbled cut. This versatile cut can be pot-roasted whole, cut up for stews or cooked over moist smoke in a smoker to transform it into classic pulled pork barbecue. Whether it is roasted, braised or barbecued, blade roast becomes meltingly tender and deliciously flavorful. This inexpensive cut may need to be pre-ordered. You also may wish to have the meat trimmed and netted so that it remains intact as it cooks to fork-tenderness. The blade roast is available bone-in, averaging six to nine pounds) or boneless (averaging four to seven pounds). Pork shoulder also is often ground for use in making ground pork.
Cooking Pork Shoulder
Common cooking methods for the Pork Shoulder include BBQ, braising, roasting, stewing, and slow-cooking.
To ensure doneness, check with a meat thermometer. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the cut should produce a temperature of 160°F for medium doneness.
How To Make Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is one of the most popular dishes made from the Pork Shoulder.
Popular Pork Shoulder Recipes
To make this recipe your own, try serving the carnitas tacos with different toppings—other slaws and salsas would work, as would cilantro sprigs, shredded lettuce, and crumbled queso fresco. On the side, serve grilled corn or sliced watermelon.
Bring the flavor of pulled pork to your slow cooker. Add your favorite bottled barbecue sauce and nothing could be simpler. Serve with baked beans, coleslaw, and potato chips.
Place rubbed pork in slow cooker and add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Cover and cook until pork is very tender, 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH. (We recommend cooking on LOW for best results.)