I always start by expecting to have willpower. Then I get realistic.
Which is (partly) why I join CSAs and buy local meat off the farm. Do one signup and you are committed to eating healthier. To varying your diet. And making Melt-in-the-Mouth Pork Shoulder Roast.
If I were going to the grocery store for pork, I’d buy pork chops. Tenderloin for sure. But I’d have steered far away from a Pork Shoulder Roast. In a hurry, I’d never have known what a tender, juicy cut it becomes. Also called Pork Butt, it is cut from the shoulder of the pig. Relatively tough and well-marbled, it is well suited for slow cooking and melts into a fork tender dinner (source: Modern Farmer).
The technique behind this Pork Shoulder Roast comes from Jamie Oliver. His recipe includes adding vegetables and making a gravy. But in the end, I went for easier and simplified it (especially after the last bowl of gravy languished in the refrigerator until it turned green). Cooking time is long—about 6 hours—but it requires very little tending, so I just schedule for a day I am planning to get lots done at home.
It goes like this:
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to taste a spit-roasted pig, let me tell you that this is the closest you will get to that in your oven. The fat becomes crisp and juicy and the juices run through the meat making it tender and full of flavor. And I must admit that I try to schedule this for a time when I am sure to be around to enjoy leftovers.
Yes, I’m always happy to find a new recipe for my farm buying!
- 1 pork shoulder roast (usu. 5-10 lbs)
- Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven 425°F
- Place the pork on a clean work surface, fat-side up. Score the fat ½ inches apart, going mostly through the fat but not into the meat.
- Rub sea salt right into the scores you’ve just made, pulling the fat apart as needed. Brush any excess salt off the surface then turn it over. Season the underside of the meat with salt and pepper.
- Place the pork, fat-side up, in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until the fat is puffing up and starting to turn golden (it will render and darken more later). At this point, turn the heat down to 325°F. Cover the pork tightly with a layer of tin foil, put back in the oven and roast for another 4½ hours.
- Remove the pork from the oven, take off the foil, and baste the meat with the fat in the bottom of the tray. If there are excess juices in the pan you can drain them now (consider saving to make stock).
- Place the pork back in the oven without the foil to roast for another hour, or until meltingly soft and tender.