Slow and Spicy and Really Good

Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to roast a pork shoulder with that Adobo Seco recipe the ladies at the Harvest Festival shared with me last month. Think about it.

If Christopher Columbus hadn't bumped into Puerto Rico while looking for a rest stop on his second trip to the New World, Juan Ponce de Leon would have never come back some fifteen years later to claim the beautiful island for Spain. As the first governor of Puerto Rico, Ponce de Leon used the island as his base of operations for his forays into North America. He died at age 47 from complications associated with a wound he recieved while looking for what he never found: The Fountain of Youth.

To this day, thousands upon thousands of East Coast retirees carry on the tradition of heading to Florida to avoid the ravages of winter and so find their own version of the famed fountain. So really, I couldn't imagine another holiday best suited to the long slow process of cooking pulled pork seasoned in the Puerto Rican way. It takes time but it's easy.

Start by lining a large roasting pan with heavy duty foil. Rub the seasoned salt under the skin of your pork shoulder as well as all over the outside of the meat. Place in the pan then cover with foil. Bake covered at 325 degrees F about 4 hours or until meat is very tender to touch (use a fork, so you don't burn your fingers!). Take off the foil top, turn oven heat to 350 degrees F and bake another 30 to 50 minutes until skin crisps. Turn off oven and whip up the sauce to serve on hard crusty rolls with a side of cole slaw. rice and beans, or for a real treat whip up a batch of sweet potato fries.

As for the history of barbecue sauce, it is also said to be linked to Columbus. Here's my own quickie recipe and the one I'll be using again on today's leftover pork (both heated in the microwave) that qualifies as an easy homemade version with a kick provided by a shot of Polish Honey Liqueur.

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (for an interesting twist try raspberry vinegar)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or hot pepper sauce)

1 ounce shot of Old Krupnik Polish Honey Liqueur (or any whiskey)

In saucepan, combine all ingredients. Simmer uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir two or three times to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan as it thickens. Drizzle heated sauce over hot cooked pulled pork (or chicken) piled high on a crusty roll and enjoy your yummy sandwich!


  1. Debbie: Was just checking my email and came across your latest entry for the pork sandwich. Damn that looks I have to go prepare dinner.....I only wish I had a sandwich like that to bite into. Had pork chop last night.

    I have been trying to get a hold of you for over 2 weeks now.....what's going on with you girl? Give me a call as it is important. Also, I have a small gift for you for your birthday.

    Ciao, Jane.

  2. I can be over in, like, 20 minutes.


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