Melt-in-the-Mouth Pork Shoulder Roast


I always start by expecting to have willpower.  Then I get realistic. 

Crisp Pork Shoulder Roast

Crisp Pork Shoulder Roast

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). 

Tender & Juicy Pork Shoulder Roast

Tender & Juicy Pork Shoulder Roast

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:

Phase 1: score and bake uncovered

Phase 1: score and bake Pork Shoulder Roast uncovered for a half hour

Phase 2: Cover Pork Shoulder Roast and bake 4 1/2 hours

Phase 2: Lower heat, cover Pork Shoulder Roast and bake 4 1/2 hours

Phase 3: Uncover pork shoulder roast and bake for another hour until crisp and tender

Phase 3: Uncover pork shoulder roast and bake for another hour until crisp and tender

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. 

Slow but easy dinner: Pork Shoulder Roast with baked potato and carrots

Slow but easy dinner: Pork Shoulder Roast with baked potato and carrots

Yes, I’m always happy to find a new recipe for my farm buying!  

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pork Shoulder Roast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pork Shoulder Roast is perfectly suited for slow cooking and melts into a fork tender dinner with a savory crisp exterior.
  • 1 pork shoulder roast (usu. 5-10 lbs)
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven 425°F
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Place the pork back in the oven without the foil to roast for another hour, or until meltingly soft and tender.




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  1. This looks wonderful. Usually when I branch out and try a new ingredient or recipe, I’m well-rewarded! Sounds like you were too.

  2. i don’t make many roasts, and when i do, i turn to the slow cooker. this is a cool method and the result looks amazing!

  3. Oh my goodness, Inger! Don’t tell, but I’d be eating hat crackling on top first!

  4. Hi Inger, your pork roast looks tender and moist. Looks like you cooked it perfectly. Happy holidays!

  5. I have never made such a big pork roast…but would love to try this..indeed looks delicious Inger.
    Thanks for the recipe, which is really simple, and hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

  6. Oh, Inger – this is one of my favorite things, and I love the simplicity of yours! I remember the first time I had a “fresh ham” – it was a pork butt/shoulder roast and it changed my mind about ham forever! I will make this in January when I am back from my travels and report back!

  7. Inger, you are a real chef! Could I serve this pork with a glass of wine :)?

    • I’m sure you could have this with wine. I think the old strict rules are pretty passe now. My book club just drank red with chicken for our holiday dinner last night–just ’cause we like it better 😉

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