Pork shoulder is an inexpensive yet deliciously tender way to feed a crowd of people. Add stuffed squash sprinkled with mushrooms, butter and pancetta, and you’ve got a satisfyingly low-budget feast.
Plenty (Mitchell Beazley, 2010) features more than 350 recipes, introducing its readers to the benefits of cooking seasonally and why you should celebrate leftovers. Feed a crowd with this tender and magnificent Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder Roast; serve with stuffed squash.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Plenty.
Sunday lunch can seem dauntingly expensive if you’re trying to feed a crowd. But slow-cooked pork shoulder is one of the most satisfying roasts (so tender) and, relatively, very cheap. It also looks magnificent. You can vary the stuffing by using dried fruit instead of mushrooms, or add grated Parmesan or wilted spinach.
for the pork
• Sea salt and pepper
• 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, rind scored
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 4 cups dry hard cider or white wine
for the squash
• 2 small winter squash or pumpkins
• 1/4 cup butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the inside of the pork. Roll up and tie at intervals with kitchen string. Rub with oil and season well. Put in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and pour in half the alcohol. Cook for another 25 minutes per pound—about 2 1/2 hours in total—basting and adding more cider or wine as you go.
2. Meanwhile, halve the winter squash and scoop out the fibers and seeds. Score a lattice on the flesh. Put in a roasting pan and smear with 1 tbsp of the butter. Season and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
3. Melt another 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion until quite soft. Add the pancetta, mushrooms, and remaining butter and sauté until colored. Stir in the rice to coat, season, and add the stock or water. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
4. When the pork is cooked (the juices should run clear, with no trace of pink, when you pierce the meat), take it from the oven and put on a heated platter. Cover with foil, insulate well, and rest for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
5. Spoon the rice stuffing into the winter squash cavities, mixing it with the butter that has collected there. Return to the oven for 30 minutes. The flesh should become completely tender and the tops golden.
6. Meanwhile, pour the cooking juices from the pork into a pitcher and remove the fat. Deglaze the roasting pan with more hard cider, white wine, or water (only about 1/2 cup), add the pork juices and bubble away until you have a thin, tasty gravy. Serve the pork with the gravy and squash.
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Plenty, published by Mitchell Beazley, 2010. Buy this book from our store: Plenty.
For more recipes from Plenty, read the article Strawberry and Lemon Curd Cake Recipe.