I know the weather is changing the second I start to smell grapes when I come and go from the house. Our neighbor has a tree that likes to grow over our fence, and within its branches climbs a grape vine that produces a lot of grapes. A lot. I’m not sure what kind they are; I’m guessing something like concord. That’s what they smell like anyway. I haven’t tried eating them, but Roma has. Now that they’re getting ripe and full, they’re falling in the yard. It’s always a fun time trying to keep her from eating them.
Tis the season for the slow cooked, comforting meats I suppose. Isn’t that what fall is for? I’m not a pumpkin spice kind of girl, but I can get behinds pork roast slow cooked in a Dutch oven. Starbucks can’t do that. They’ll probably try soon now that I’ve said this. Gross.
How weird is it that I made the pork purely because I wanted an excuse to buy some butter beans? It was a pretty bizarre craving [even for me] that I’d been having for a few weeks, that was finally about to be satiated all in the name of a juicy, shredded pork. It’s usually navy, black, or garbanzo when I’m grabbing for beans, so butter beans were a nice change.
Inspiration: The Italian Dish
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 4-6lbs pork shoulder
- 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pepperoncini, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 5oz arugula
- 1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 300°. Mix the onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl before covering all sides of the pork shoulder. Put the pork shoulder into the Dutch oven. Pour the tomatoes over the top. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover the pot. Place in the oven for about 5-6 hours, turning it over about half way through. Start checking the shoulder for doneness at about 5 hours. If it falls apart with a fork, you’re done. Otherwise keep going. You can take the pork out of the pot and shred it on a cutting board if you prefer or just leave it in there and shred with forks. I’m a fan of leaving in all the vegetables with the cooked meat and letting it soak up all of the delicious tomato juice before serving. You can take them out if you want.
Toss the arugula and butter beans in a large bowl. Drizzle the oil and vinegar and toss to evenly distribute. I like to use my hands to make sure there isn’t a dry leaf. Serve on plates or bowls and top with the pulled pork.