*Pork shoulder usually comes as a large piece of meat. It’s the shoulder of the pig. It can be cumbersome and difficult to work with, not only because of the size, but also because it’s very fatty. “Country style pork ribs” are often pork shoulder that’s been trimmed and cut into thick slices. I love this because some of the fat has already been removed and the pieces are much easier to handle. You just have to be careful though as sometimes pork loin is used for country style pork ribs. It will usually say on the package but if it doesn’t, just check with your butcher. He will know whether it’s loin or shoulder. Loin is not as fatty but won’t produce as tender, melt in your mouth results either. You want the shoulder.
If you can’t find country style pork ribs, you could ask your butcher to slice a pork shoulder for you or you can do it yourself.
If you can’t find a boneless shoulder, or boneless country style ribs, allow a pound and half extra to compensate for the bones.
**If you don’t have a large cutting board, just lay a large piece of plastic wrap out on a work surface and lay pork on plastic wrap.
*** San Marzano tomatoes can be found in most larger grocery stores. They are Italian plum tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius near the small Italian town of San Marzano. They are wonderful with a sweet flavor, low acidity, firm pulp, deep red color and a low seed count. Try to find them if you can. They more expensive but worth it! If you can’t find them, try to use canned plum tomatoes, if possible.
**** For the diced tomatoes in this recipe, I like to use rire-roasted diced tomatoes. Most major tomato canning companies produce fire-roasted tomatoes these days. Look for them along side the regular diced tomatoes. They have a depth of color and flavor that’s delicious. If you can’t find them, regular diced tomatoes will work.