Aguja de Cerdo Rellena de Chorizo
Chorizo Stuffed Pork Shoulder
This is a slow cooking recipe.
Many of the Jerezano recipes I found offered a combination of pork and sherry wine, jerez in Spanish. This one seemed to have a great potential and, indeed, it was very good despite the limitation of the available groceries here in California.
First, the pork. After consulting charts for both American and Spanish pork cuts, I determined that the closest American cut to the Spanish aguja (which translates as needle) is pork shoulder blade. This is a fatty cut primed for long, slow cooking and it worked perfectly in this recipe.
Second, the chorizo. Spanish chorizo is a delicious cured/smoked sausage, made of coarsely cut pork and seasoned with herbs and spices, in particular paprika. While there are lots of varieties of it in Spain, the recipe didn't specify which one to use so I decided to use a Spanish-style chorizo available at my local supermarket. The recipe called for the chorizo skin to be removed, but this proved impossible for this particular chorizo, so I decided to chop it instead. This worked reasonably well, though I may try just using the whole chorizo if I made this again. An 8 ounce chorizo was probably too big for the 4lb pork shoulder. Next time I might use a 4 to 6 ounce one.
Third, the sherry. The recipe just called for "white Jerez wine." I spent a lot of time researching whether there were white wines in Jerez that were not sherries, and while they do exist, they don't seem to be particularly popular. So I figured, the recipe was really calling for sherry. Given the lack of specificity, I also just went for a cheap local sherry I found at my supermarket. It wasn't particularly great as a drink, but it worked well enough on the dish.
Finally, while the recipe called for lard, I tend to avoid it as a matter of course so I used a much smaller amount of melted butter instead. I think it worked well enough.
In all, I was quite happy with the results, though I ended up overcooking the pork (do test for doneness after 3 hours). But still, it's a forgiving cut and it was quite flavorful and succulent.
Chorizo Stuffed Pork Shoulder
- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast
- 1 4 to 8 oz Spanish style chorizo, skinned or chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp melted butter or 5 oz lard
- dried oregano to taste
- 1/2 cup Spanish sherry (jerez)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Carve a hole at the center of the pork shoulder large enough to fit the chorizo. Tie it securely with kitchen string. Make slats throughout the surface of the pork shoulder and fill them with the garlic slivers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer pork shoulder to a rimmed baking sheet or pan. Pour the melted butter on top and then sprinkle with oregano.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue roasting for about 3 hours or until the pork is cooked through. Remove from oven, pour the sherry on top, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Cut and serve the roast with the droppings.
Adapted from a recipe at Jerez Sin Fronteras
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