Mike Ditka’s Official Tailgater’s Pork Chops
Mexicali Pork Chops
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Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 2 hours, 50 minutesServings: 8 - 10
FOR ROASTS, CHOPS and TENDERLOINS
Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest
4-5 pound bone-in pork shoulder1 medium onion, thickly sliced1 head garlic, peeled2 tablespoons oregano2 teaspoons cumin seeds2 teaspoons salt1 teaspoon black peppercorns2 bay leaves1 tablespoon lard, OR oil Zest and juice of 1 orange, grated Zest and juice of 1 lemon, grated Juice of 1 bitter orange
Using a sharp knife make several shallow cuts (about 1/2-inch deep) in the pork, place in a glass or ceramic roasting pan. Spread the onion slices on the bottom of the pan.
Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to make a paste. Rub the pork with the mixture on all sides, making sure it goes into the cuts. Place pork on top of the onions.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours, turning once, leaving the fat side up for cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pork in the middle rack of the oven. After 30 minutes turn down the temperature to 325 degrees and cook an additional 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes or so with its own juices. Plan for a total of 25-30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature as measured with a meat thermometer is 160 degrees F.
Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving, discard onions.
The less tender shoulder cut is given a long slow cooking time to create a tender meal. Serve with red beans and rice and a tropical fruit salad.
Calories: 282 caloriesProtein: 27 gramsFat: 16 gramsSodium: 597 milligramsCholesterol: 95 milligramsSaturated Fat: 6 gramsCarbohydrates: 7 gramsFiber: 1 grams
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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 picnic. The upper part of the shoulder, often called the Boston blade roast (also known as Boston- style butt), comes from the area near the loin and contains the shoulder blade bone.
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It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork in the oven, on the stove or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50% longer. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It is best if frozen pork roasts are cooked at an oven temperature of 325 degrees F. Do not cook frozen pork in a slow cooker.
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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