I was very, very excited when I opened up this curiously heavy gift on Christmas morning…
If you haven’t read about the Lodge Enamel Dutch Ovens yet, know this: people love them. They rave about them. On Amazon for instance, the average rating is 4-5 stars and each version of the dutch oven has hundreds of reviews. Most notable about this line has to be a point highlighted in almost every comment and review; “Le Creuset on a budget!”
Suffice it to say, I was very, very excited when I opened up this curiously heavy gift on Christmas morning. Within minutes I was running through the Epicurious app trying to find a good recipe.
Enamel dutch ovens owe at least some of their popularity to the fact that it is dead easy to make delicious food in them. The coffee-rubbed pork shoulder below has 3 ingredients and took all of 5 minutes of preparation. Here’s what you need:
- 2 packets of Starbucks Via Coffee (I went with a bold flavor)
- kosher salt
- bone-in pork shoulder
If you’re in the market for a new dutch oven, I highly recommend this model from Lodge. The quality is incredible for the price. Plus, the color is pretty cool… it goes perfectly with my solo cups!
Note how fine the grind is on the Via. This is key for coffee rubs, as I’ve found coarse grinds to imbue an overly bitter flavor on the rub-ee, in this case, the pork shoulder. I decided not to use a traditional rub ratio in this dish as a bit of an experiment; I wanted to see if coffee and kosher salt could stand on their own.
I heated the enamel dutch oven to medium and browned the pork shoulder before putting it in the oven at 350 degrees. The idea behind getting a quick sear on the shoulder is about flavor and texture. Typically, I’d smoke a pork shoulder which would help develop a nice bark or crust, but baking the shoulder in a covered dutch oven doesn’t allow a bark to develop. This step helps imitate that texture.
About 3 and a half hours later, the coffee rubbed bone-in pork shoulder was ready to come out of the oven. When the bone comes out clean, you know you’re there. I try to remove and serve the pork in chunks and then shred it as needed. I believe (though, have not justified though testing) that this helps the shoulder keep better. At the very least, it makes it much more presentable than a pile of shredded pork.
Let me know what you think.