Today, I’ve got the perfect thing for your holiday potluck – my take on pintxos!
I cooked a whole pork shoulder sous vide until it is perfectly tender and then cubed it and rubbed on my favorite seasonings. To give it a smoky flavor, I gave it a quick 30-minute smoke while I prepped a romesco sauce to accompany the pintxos.
This dish was a total hit at my work’s 2018 holiday potluck this year and disappeared quickly! This is a great potluck idea for you to have a killer dish.
Potluck Pintxos – Smoked Pork Shoulder Bites
- 8-10 lbs bone-in pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup favorite BBQ rub (we used Jeff’s Naked Rib Rub)
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- Set sous vide immersion circulator to 140F (60C)
- Place vacuum packed pork shoulder in water bath
- Sous vide for 18 hours
- Remove pork from bath, open vacuum pouch
- Cut out bone, trim pork removing much of the fat and gristle
- Cut pork into roughly 1.5 in (4cm) cubes
- Coat pork thoroughly with rub
- Optional: refrigerate for 8-10 hours or overnight
- Set-up smoker to 225-350F (120-175C)
- Add hickory chunks (or your favorite hardwood)
- Smoke for 30 minutes
- Serve immediately or chill and reheat for a potluck
Optional overnight chilling allows salt to penetrate meat since we cooked it completely unseasoned. Also, cold objects absorb smoke more readily than hot objects, so it helps it to pick up that flavor. Smoking temp isn’t critical, the meat is fully cooked and we just want it to absorb smoke flavor.
Equipment used (affiliate links):
- Global knives: https://amzn.to/2zzElav
- Aluminum foil: https://amzn.to/2TRBy50
- Anova Sous vide: https://amzn.to/2V7MxrP
- Weber Kettle Grill: https://amzn.to/2VdJYEE
- Jeff’s Rib Rub (non-affiliate): https://order.smoking-meat.com/products/jeffs-rub-recipe-and-sauce-recipe
Tasting and Lessons Learned
Normally, I prefer to give the meats plenty of time to absorb the salt in the recipe. Therefore, I usually strongly prefer to season it before bagging it for sous vide. However, for this recipe, I cooked it before seasoning. I wasn’t too worried because I would be cutting the pork up to manageable 1.5″ pieces and then seasoning the cubes with salt (in the rub). The salt-level turned out to be perfect.
I had two resting times built-in. First, after the sous vide cooking I cubed the meat and then seasoned it, letting it rest while I went to work for the day. It got another overnight rest after the 30 minute smoke. That gave plenty of time for the sodium to distribute throughout the meat pieces.
To reheat for my potluck, I used a Crock Pot on high to get it up to temperature over the course of the morning, then at serving time, I reduced it to “Keep Warm.” The Crock Pot company does not recommend using a slow cooker to reheat, but I’ve never had troubles. In my testing, food gets out of the “danger zone” in less than 2 hours, so I feel comfortable using it in the right application.
As for tasting, this recipe was a hit at my potluck. The pork was smoky and spicy, but not overpowering. I was serving this to a Midwestern crowd, so I didn’t want to make it too hot! It hit the mark perfectly and praise was heaped upon this dish throughout the potluck.