Slow roasted pork shoulder

This dish is as simple as it is celestial, and it’s wide open to interpretation based upon your personal taste. If you’re like me and love garlic and chili pepper, then pile them on. If you are more practical when it comes to the palate, then keep it simple. Either way you can’t go wrong.

This dish takes about 45 minutes to prep, followed by cooking at a nice, low heat for eight to ten hours. Although it’s relatively simple, this recipe is not for the impatient.


  • 1 pork shoulder, boneless or bone in (5-7 lbs)
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup fennel seeds
  • 4-6 chili peppers, I prefer jalapeños
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
  • 3-5 carrots
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Large Dutch oven
  • Food processor
  • Chef’s string
  • 2 Large tongs - for turning the meat
  • Zester
  • Large bowl


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Pour fennel, garlic, into food processor and blitz the hell out of it for several minutes. The fennel seeds are hard to sever so let the food processor run until the ingredients form a thick paste.
  3. Add the chilies, salt and pepper and blitz again.
  4. With a sharp knife cut slits one inch deep and one inch wide into the pork meat every inch or so. The idea is to create lots and lots of holes big enough to stuff a finger into.
  5. Fill the holes with spice paste cramming in as much as you can into each hole. Rub the remainder of the paste on the meat and roll it into a nice round roast shape if boneless. Tie with some string.
  6. Place Dutch oven on the stove top, cover the bottom with olive oil and turn to a medium high heat. Lightly brown the pork on all sides. This should take about 2-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Once completed remove the roast from the pot and place it in the large bowl.
  8. Now pour the chicken stock into the Dutch oven and stir the bottom of the pan to get all of that meaty goodness to mix with the stock. Place the carrot sticks on the bottom to form a rack that will keep the roast raised above the level of the liquid.
  9. Place the roast with the fatty side up onto the vegetarian rack.
  10. Pour the lemon juice over the top, sprinkle the zest on the pork, cover and place in the preheated oven.
  11. Cook for 30 minutes at 450°F.
  12. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and cook for 6 to 10 hours basting occasionally. You know it is done when the meat falls apart with only the slightest provocation from a prodding fork.
  13. Remove to a platter and spoon a healthy amount of gravy from the bottom of the pan over the meat before serving.
Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

So I ate this tonight along with (Israeli couscous) and some roast carrots. It is exceptional. The meat simply falls apart… no knife required. I drooled. It was embarrassing.

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

Would this work with lamb too?

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

I’m sure that this low and slow cooking method would work well with a leg of lamb, but the fennel/pepper combination is particularly well suited to the pork. For Lamb I would experiment with more subtle combinations of mint/garlic/and rosemary.

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

I took the plunge and made this for some friends. It was as good as Andrew’s which means his recipe works perfectly! One thing I thought might be worth noting. After about 4 hours, I removed the dish and had a taste. The chili nearly knocked me out and I was concerned that it might overwhelm the dish. But after another 4 hours, the fire had subsided completely, leaving little more than a warm glow on the tongue. It was fantastic.

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

My husband and I made this together and it was the perfect Sunday meal. We set to work after our morning coffee and paper and then went about our day after we lowered the temperature in step 12. The house smelled ever more delicious as the day progressed and we had a delightful winter supper with our (adult) children that evening. To Harvey’s dissapointment there was not enough for leftovers.

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder

I recently made this recipe again and it was fantastic. It really holds up and is indeed perfect winter warming food. I served this over jasmine rice with David’s Pan-roasted fennel on the side. I then sprinkled some chopped fennel leaves on top before serving.

It was a heavenly meal and just like comment above, there were no leftovers.

Re: Slow roasted pork shoulder