19 Delicious Ways the World Cooks Pork Shoulder

We love cooking with pork shoulder. It’s a versatile and economical cut that takes deliciously to roasting, braising, stewing, and slow cooking. Low, moist heat turns the meat so tender and succulent, it just falls away from the bone and practically melts in the mouth. In the U.S., pork shoulder is the perfect pick for pulled pork. Home cooks from other countries and cultures, of course, have their own delicious ways of preparing pork shoulder. Here are just some of our favorite recipes from around the world featuring pork shoulder — including a couple Southern-style pulled pork recipes!

1. Crispy Pork Carnitas

Cubes of fragrant, spiced pork are slowly cooked in olive oil until they’re crispy on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside. “Bust some up on a warm tortilla, drizzle with braising liquid, top with a little salsa, onion, and cilantro, and you’re probably enjoying the world’s best taco,” says Chef John.

 

2. Cantonese Barbecued Pork

You’ll marinate strips of pork shoulder in sherry, ginger root, oyster sauce, five-spice powder, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, and cinnamon. “This tastes like the pork served in my favorite Chinese restaurant,” says SHERRY. “Serve at room temperature arranged in overlapping layers on a platter. Garnish with cucumber slices, if desired.”

3. Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

This Texas-style pulled pork recipe features pork shoulder simmered with onions in a tangy chili-seasoned barbecue sauce. Shred the pork and serve on buttered, toasted buns. “Fall-apart tender with good flavor — not too spicy, just enough to tantalize,” says DULCINEA54935.

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Photo by Kari

4. Cuban Pork Roast I

You’ll mash toasted cumin seeds, peppercorns, garlic, and oregano into a paste. And then add it to a marinade with OJ, lime and lemon juices, a little sherry, and olive oil. Enjoy this hearty pork roast with black beans and rice. “If there are any leftovers, make media noches, the Cuban sandwiches that are made with Swiss cheese, ham, and toasted egg bread in addition to roast pork,” says Christine L. Try Chef John’s sandwich recipe:

5. Chef John’s Cuban Sandwich

Chef John makes his Cubano sandwich with pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a zesty mustard sauce. For best results, build your sandwich on Chef John’s Cuban bread. “Delicious,” raves Cinders57. “This is the most authentic Cuban Sandwich recipe I have found yet! Didn’t change a thing!”

Chef John's Cuban Sandwich

Photo by Chef John

6. Spicy Peruvian Pork

You’ll cut boneless pork shoulder into cubes and marinate them briefly in vinegar, cumin, turmeric, and garlic powder. Then you’ll simply brown the pork and finish by simmering in orange juice, a little water, onion, and the reserved marinade. “This was so delicious! A friend of mine from South America raved about it,” says crcowley.

7. Chef John’s Pork al Latte

This flavorful, incredibly tender, melt-in-the-mouth pork shoulder stew was inspired by a classic Italian dish, maiale al latte (“pork in milk”). Chef John’s version calls for crème fraiche and chicken broth instead of traditional milk. You’ll slowly simmer beautifully browned chunks of pork shoulder with bacon, garlic, and herbs. The sauce develops a luxurious texture and rich taste.

Chef John's Pork al Latte

Photo by Chef John

8. Czech Roast Pork

Rub pork shoulder roast with a flavorful mixture of vegetable oil, mustard, caraway seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You’ll roast the pork in a pan with chopped onions and a little beer. “Roast pork (veprova pecene) is a traditional Czech meal usually served on Sundays,” says none. “Don’t skip the caraway or the beer. They make this dish what it is! Serve it with Knedliky — Czech Dumpling with Sauerkraut (Zeli) and a nice Czech pilsner.”

9. Chef John’s Pork and Beans and Greens

It’s basically beans and greens with an Italian accent. Pieces of seasoned pork shoulder are cooked until crusty and caramelized and served with white beans sautéed briefly with sliced garlic and fresh arugula. “This meal was absolutely fabulous and super simple to make,” says Kim. “Would be great for company because it is so low maintenance.”

 

10. Ukrainian Baba’s Pork Roast

To this succulent roast pork shoulder roast, you’ll add chopped beets and prunes, serving with a quick sour cream and paprika sauce. “This old recipe features a favorite Ukrainian vegetable: beets,” says Olga Drozd. “This gives the roast a red color.”

11. North Carolina Pulled Pork

This slow-cooker pulled pork recipe features pork shoulder roast, a little ketchup, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar. So easy, it takes just minutes to prep. “I got this from a North Carolina native and it is the best,” says skibunny2k. “It is pretty much foolproof.”

North Carolina Pulled Pork

Photo Linda T

12. Miso Braised Pork

To make this Japanese comfort food, you’ll simply sear slices of pork shoulder and then simmmer them with garlic and ginger, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and miso. “So much umami going on here,” says mrsbigbird. “The aroma is intoxicating. We serve this with rice and the gravy.”

13. Chef John’s Irish Pork Stew

This rich, delicious pork stew features Brussels sprouts, dark stout beer, balsamic vinegar, and caraway seeds. “Amazing,” says manncastro. “Best stew ever! The Brussels sprouts give it an extra texture and flavor that was just yummy!”

 Chef John's Irish Pork Stew

Photo by Chef John

14. Sicilian Pineapple Pork Roast

A pork shoulder roast is browned with fresh rosemary and sage then roasted with tomatoes, onions, and pineapple until wonderfully tender. “A great quickie recipe to tasty-up an economy cut of pork roast,” says STREETCAR. “You can adjust the quantities of herbs used to your own taste.”

15. Pork Yaka Mein a la Dug

In the slow cooker, you’ll combine bone-in pork shoulder roast with chicken broth, water, bouillon cubes, seasoned salt, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, and butter. Shred the tender pork off the bone, and then cook bok choy in the savory broth. “My spin on ‘yaka mein soup’ with pork and bok choy,” says dugpark. “It’s a family favorite. Serve with condiments including crushed red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, and lime wedges.”

Pork Yaka Mein a la Dug

Photo by MADGUAC

16. Jambon au Sirop D’Erable

“Translation: Ham in Maple Syrup,” says Wendy. It’s smoked pork shoulder simmered with maple syrup, mustard powder, onion, and cloves. “This French-Canadian recipe is usually served during the winter-season, or at the sugar shacks. It’s great as a main meal served with mashed potatoes and carrots, but is also a great side dish for breakfast. This is my grandmother’s traditional and delicious recipe!”

17. Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)

Chopped pork shoulder combines with pork loin and hominy in a thick broth flavored with colorful red guajillo chile peppers. “The traditional Mexican dish in the red version,” says Consuelo Aguilar. “Serve with tortilla chips.”

 Pozole Rojo

Photo by Yoly

18. Wine and Garlic Pork (Portuguese Vina Dosh)

Cubes of pork shoulder are marinated in red wine vinegar, red wine, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, and thyme. “Ah, ‘Vina Dosh,’ a Portuguese dish and tradition of my family,” says Cali-Chef. “It started getting passed down more than 80 years ago when my grandparents came to America from the Azore Islands! Easy to make, but lots of patience to wait for the marinade to make its magic. Serve with Portuguese Linguica and Portuguese Sweet Bread. Hawaiian sweet bread works in a pinch.”

Wine and Garlic Pork (Portuguese Vina Dosh)

Photo by Jim Peters

19. Chef John’s Porchetta

Here’s a simplified version of Italian porchetta with a simple and spicy vinegar and parsley sauce. Watch the video to see how to butterfly the pork, prepping it for the tasty stuffing that features herbs, orange zest, and garlic. ” Everyone was raving about how tender and tasty the pork was,” says tcasa.


Check out our collection of Pork Shoulder Recipes.


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