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Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
by Desiree Currie
Our own farm-raised pork shoulder is best enjoyed with crisp, crunchy skin and pull-apart tender meat. To make it at home, grab your sharpest knife, a rack and roasting pan—then sit back and allow a low oven and a bit of steam to slow-roast the shoulder. Once it emerges tender and juicy, crank up the oven to blister and crisp up the skin. Its salty, crackly bite will have you dancing in your seat—so plan your guest list accordingly!
7 to 8-lb bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
boiling water (about 7 cups)
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, separated
1 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 dry bay leaves
Dijon mustard and honey mustard (recipe below), for serving
roasting pan with rack
1. Coarsely crush the fennel and coriander seeds using a mortar and pestle, the side of a jar, or a heavy frying pan. Combine in a small bowl with 1 tbsp of the salt.
2. Using the sharpest knife you have, score the pork skin and fat in parallel strips about 1/4 inch apart. Do not score into the meat.
3. Pat the shoulder dry with paper towels and cover it all over with the spice mixture. Rub the mixture into the creases of the scored skin, pulling it apart as necessary.
4. Place the seasoned shoulder on a rack over a baking sheet or baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 4 hours to 24 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 275°F.
6. Transfer the shoulder and rack to a large roasting pan. Add the garlic cloves, bay leaves and enough boiling water to fill the pan just below the rack (1 1/2 to 4 cups, depending on the size of your pan).
7. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until the meat “gives” when you poke it, about 7 1/2 to 8 hours. In the meantime, add additional cups of boiling water to the pan every 3 hours to keep the liquid levels in line with the roasting rack.
8. Transfer the shoulder and rack to a baking sheet and tent with foil for 20 minutes to one hour.
9. Preheat oven to 475°F.
10. Degrease the roasting juices by either pouring into a fat separator or skimming the fat with a spoon. Transfer to a small saucepan over low heat and taste. Add additional water or salt to correct.
11. Untent the shoulder, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and transfer to the upper rack of the 475°F oven. Roast for 5 minutes, rotating the shoulder as necessary to allow the skin to blister and crackle. Serve immediately.
*If you’ve got a kitchen torch handy, feel free to give the skin a little extra char before serving up the roast.
What You'll Need:
by Desiree Currie
3 tbsp honey
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine the honey, mustards and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Adjust the flavors to your liking.