This pork shoulder recipe takes a lot of time in the oven, but little time from the cook. It’s a bit like pulled pork dressed up for company and is perfect for winter gatherings.–Melissa Pasanen with Rick Gencarelli
LC Leftovers In Disguise Note
Leftovers? We can’t imagine much, if any, of this pork roast being left till the next day. But the authors note that, should this happen, you can warm whatever’s left of the recipe in covered dish in a low oven along with some corn tortillas wrapped in foil. They like to shred the pork and serve it with shredded green cabbage tossed with a quick sauce of sour cream thinned with a little orange juice and seasoned with ground cumin, coriander, and salt to taste. We’re not going to argue.
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 4 H, 55 M
- Serves 6 to 8
- 3 1/2 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt) roast, tied*
- 1 large orange, preferably navel or other seedless variety
- 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 pound with stalks), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and then each half cut crosswise into 3 pieces
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- 2. Pat the pork roast dry. If your pork roast comes with a netting to hold it together, cut the netting off and tie the roast a couple times around with some kitchen twine. (There’s nothing worse than cutting off the netting after the roast is done and seeing the entire mouthwatering crust go with it.) Also, check your label to see if you have bought “enhanced” pork, which is injected with a salty brine. If so, cut the salt in the rub by half.
- 3. Zest enough of the orange to yield 2 teaspoons finely grated zest, making sure to avoid the bitter white pith beneath. Cut the orange into 8 wedges, discarding any seeds.
- 4. Finely grind the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add the salt, pepper, orange zest, and garlic and grind them together into a rough paste. Rub the paste all over the roast and place it in a roasting pan. Roast the pork for about 3 hours.
- 5. Add the fennel and orange wedges to the pan, tossing to coat them in the juices, and roast for another 30 minutes. Turn the fennel and orange wedges and continue to roast the pork. After 4 to 4 1/2 hours total roasting time, the meat should be completely tender and shred easily when you pull it with a fork, the fennel should be soft and caramelized, and the orange wedges should also be caramelized.
- 6. Let the roast sit for a few minutes before carving. Serve with the fennel and orange wedges.
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Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
Jan 19, 2011
I loved how fuss-free this dish was: pop the meat in the oven, ignore it for a few hours, and then when you take it out, it’s all gorgeously dark brown and crusty on the outside, and pink and juicy inside. The fresh flavors of the orange and fennel were perfect together with the pork — though I might add more fennel bulbs next time, simply because they were so delicious (caramelized, with a juicy crunch) and I wanted more.
Jan 19, 2011
This dish was fantastic. I’m a big fan of pork shoulder/butt anyway, but this recipe will definitely be made again. I would not change a thing in the recipe — it came out perfectly!
Jan 19, 2011
The dish was easy to make and the results were outstanding. A perfect counterpoint to the dreariness of inclement fall weather. We followed the recipe to the “T” but the orange slices never created the caramelized effect noted in the recipe.
Jan 19, 2011
This turned out great. I would not have thought of pairing fennel with pork but it was great. The orange was also nice. The pork did exactly what it said and just fell apart, was tender, moist, juicy, and tasty. I let the roast rest (tented under foil) for 15 minutes and it held the juices very well. My children said, “Daddy, this is really good. What is it ?” It was easy to make and excellent. I did need to wash the fennel bulb well, but it turned out much better than I expected. I served it with spaetzle and acorn squash.
Jan 19, 2011
Oh my, how I love dishes that cook themselves, dishes that you start hours in advance, then ignore until they’re ready. When I made the paste with the orange peel and fennel seeds, I was surprised by how much it reminded me of some Indian pastes I’ve used in the past — it must have been the fennel seeds smelling like fenugreek. The whole house smelled wonderful as the pork roasted and we were pretty hungry by the time we sat down to eat. The recipe turned out exactly as was written, the meat deliciously tender, the caramelized oranges and fennel providing the perfect foil to the pork. It actually smelled so good and had been so easy to cook that we were expecting to be let down by the taste, but it was a very well- balanced dish, the meat succulent, with enough juices to serve as an orangey, fennel-y sauce. (More Arabic than Indian at the end.) My guests were silent and fast-fingered, nods and glances silent approval of what was on their plates. We’ll be making this again. Very soon.
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe © 2007 Melissa Pasanen and Shelburne Farms. Photo © 2007 Susie Cushner. All rights reserved.