Beer Brined Pork Shoulder Sous Vide

If you know how to cook a pork shoulder I’m sure you have a ton of friends. This piece of meat and I go way back to the time when I was, for whatever reason, getting into cooking. It was a dish I really wanted to try. Roasting a pork shoulder at home (in my mind at the time) was one of those things often reserved only for celebrations, holiday meals, family gatherings or whatever meaninful event came along, just due to the amount of work and time involved in the cooking… that’s what I thought. Today I know better. Roasting a pork shoulder in the oven or cooking pork shoulder sous vide is extremely easy and with little planning or prep can become part of your weekly meals not to mention, leftovers will last in that fridge for a while… if there are any left.

As sappy as this might sound, I will never forget the first time I oven-roasted a 20 pounder bone-in.  Four hours later after tasting the first bite, I knew that this fixation with cooking wasn’t gonna go anywhere. Needless to say, pork can cement food memories like nobody’s business. Here are some other examples of previous pork shoulder recipes if you’re interested in oven-roasting:

butchering lesson outcome: part I. roasted pork shoulder

the best oven roasted pork shoulder I ever cooked

oven roasted pork shoulder

I borrowed and adapted this recipe from Paul Liebrandt’s book: “To The Bone”.  And served it on a tortilla. Because I can.

Here’s what I love about this recipe. First, you have the amazing pairing of pork and white ale beer. Blue moon has that citrusy finish which goes awesome with fatty foods. It really is a great pairing. Then there’s the curing salt addition which gives the meat a beautiful rosy finish and a hint of ham flavor which was surprisingly delicious in combination with the beer infused shoulder. Finally, a 24-hour cook at 67C yields pork that melts in your mouth. The most tender result that can be achieved. Seriously great and so simple.


4 pounds of pork shoulder meat. No bone. Cut into 1 pound pieces.
1500g water
1000g blue moon beer (Paul suggests: Hitachino)
75g salt
6.25g curing salt #1
Your favorite taco garnishes.


The brine.

If you wanna play it extra safe, mix the salt, curing salt and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool in the fridge overnight. Add the beer and place the pork pieces in it. Return to the fridge and brine for 36 hours.

The cook.

Bring your water bath to 67C. Remove the pork from the brine and discard the liquids. Vacuum pack the pork pieces individually. Place the bags in the water bath and cook for 24 hours.

The sear.

Cut the pork into smaller cubes, about 1-inch cubes. Get a skillet really hot. You won’t need oil. Pork shoulder is fatty enough. Brown, toss and brown some more Develop and nice golden finish and then set aside. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then shred away if you like.

 I mean, that’s basically it.

Get yourself some corn or flour tortillas. I like toasting them over a gas burner to get a bit of crunch going. Dress your taco with your favorite garnishes and sauces. In the pictures, I feature a homemade fermented hot BBQ sauce which takes about a month to mature and I will be talking about how to make that in a coming post. If you’re interested in making your own fermented hot sauces you can always start here and get fermenting hot peppers at home!

be careful out there guys!

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