I cooked a pork shoulder sous-vide for 24h and sadly It came out extremely dry. I think it's due to cooking it in a citrus heavy marinade and removing a bit too much of the fat cap.

So now I have a few pounds of really dry pork and I'd rather avoid losing it.

How could I further process/cook the pork to make it less dry and more palatable?

I was thinking stew or chilli, but I'm not sure if that will dry the meat even more.

  • 1
    I would like to answer but this feels too much like a call for recipe that seems to be frowned upon here. I don't make the rules.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 14, 2018 at 18:20
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    @paparazzo Maybe we could tweak the question to avoid attracting endless lists of recipes, but it seems fine - the OP doesn't actually need recipes, just techniques/types of dishes that would turn dry pork into something more palatable.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 14, 2018 at 19:58
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    The edit is perfectly fine by me. I'm really looking to techniques and general ideas more than specific recipes.
    – JS Lavertu
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:36
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    @mrog Good point, but yeah, my circulator is working fine. I made eggs this morning and they came out perfect.
    – JS Lavertu
    Mar 15, 2018 at 16:04

6 Answers 6


I'd use it as barbecue. It should shred fairly easily; if not, I'd gently steam it until it does. If it's so dry that it can't be shredded, it probably can't be saved, though you might be able to get satisfactory results with chopping.

All it needs is to be warmed in the barbecue sauce, requiring no further cooking. Include some of the juices and fat that came off of the pork during the initial cooking. Serve on white bread or soft sandwich rolls.

The same procedure would work with many different sauce profiles. A Mexican-style sauce would make it a great burrito or enchilada filling. An Italian-flavored tomato sauce can be served atop pasta. Mix it with a curry sauce and serve on rice. In each case, it just requires shredding/chopping and heating in the sauce.

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    I've tried this before and the sauce does mask the dryness and make the meat more palatable, but it will not change the texture of the meat.
    – Jason S.
    Mar 15, 2018 at 15:30
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    Yep. Fixing the texture of the meat is pretty much impossible. A physical-chemical change has occurred: the gel-like web of proteins and moisture has collapsed. The fastest way to really "fix" it would be to feed it to a pig and start over. Mar 15, 2018 at 19:06

If the citrus marinade doesn't interfere too much, You could mince it and roast it even further (to brown the mince), mix it with similarly browned beef mince and use it, on top of a soffrito, as the basis of a Ragu.

My Ragu recipe rehydrates severely browned beef and pork mince and the melted vegetables using tomatoes, white wine and stock, with seasoning tweaks. It's a long slow cook, overnight. I freeze it. When the time comes to serve with pasta, I add milk and fresher aromatics (including mace) and reduce it to give a more custardy, sticky texture.


Since the meat is dry, what you need to do is incorporate more fat. I would try pork confit. Any kind of fat should work.


Does it taste good? If so perhaps just continue and completely dry it out and just have pork jerky? After it's jerkied perhaps you could shred it and put in a chili or stew, but at least you haven't wasted it.


You could slice it very thinly against the grain and use it as sandwich meat.


You could give it a few spins in a food processor and make dumplings ? Dumpling filling could have lots of liquid elements ( depends on the recipe, but things like soy sauce, mirin, sake, sesame oil, vinegar, hot sauce, etc) to try and moisten things up.

I think it would resemble the texture of mince and would lose the texture of dry shredded pork ( which feel very fibrous ).

Main downside: lots of work.

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