Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

pork-shoulder-2Daniel came home from the Boere Mark with this fantastic pork shoulder from our favourite pork supplier, Laasterus. I looked at the the piece of meat lying in front of me and I am truly overwhelmed.  A leg of lamb or a roast is more Daniel’s territory and I’m not sure if I want to enter his playing field.  Daniel’s got a Superior flavour palette, and an intuitive sense of what goes with what, which is why it’s safe for me to stick to the easy-peasy recipes with precise measurements.
I found a a video on Jamie’s Money Saving Meals and watched the video a few times ’till I knew exactly how to wrestle the pork shoulder.  A world-class cooking lesson right in my own lounge, and that on a Monday morning.
After five hours the pork was falling apart and the crackling was, well, cracked.  I should have used a little more herbs but luckily Daniel was there to add the final flavour touches.


 2kgShoulder of pork, skin on
Sea Salt
Black pepper corns
Fennel seeds
 2Red onions, halved
 2Carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
 2Sticks celery, halved
 1 Bulb garlic, skin on, broken into cloves
 6-8Bay leaves
 600mlWater or organic vegetable stock


  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C.
  2. Place your pork on a clean work surface, skin-side up. Get yourself a small sharp knife (Jamie uses a carpet knife!) and make zig-zag scores about a centimeter apart through the skin and deep into the fat, but not so deep that you cut into the meat. If the joint is tied, try not to cut through the string.  Crush the salt, pepper and fennel seeds together in a mortal-and-pestle and rub salt right into all the scores you’ve just made, pulling the skin apart a little if you need to.
  3. Brush any excess salt off the surface then turn it over. Season the underside of the meat with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place your pork, skin-side up, in a roasting tray and pop in the preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes, until the skin of the pork has started to puff up and you can see it turning into crackling. At this point, turn the heat down to 170°C, cover the pork snugly with a double layer of tinfoil, pop back in the oven and roast for a further four and a half hours.
  4. Take out of the oven, take the foil off, and baste the meat with the fat in the bottom of the tray. Carefully lift the pork up and transfer to a chopping board. Spoon all but a couple of tablespoons of fat out (save it for roast potatoes!).
  5. Add all the veg, garlic and bay leaves to the tray and stir them into the fat. Place the pork back on top of everything and return to the stove without the foil to roast for another hour. By this time the meat should be meltingly soft and tender.
  6. Carefully move the meat to a serving dish, cover again with tinfoil and leave to rest while you make your gravy. Spoon away any fat in the tray, then add the water or stock and place the tray on the hob. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to scrape up all those lovely sticky tasty bits on the bottom of the tray. When you’ve got a nice, dark gravy, pour it through a sieve into a bowl or gravy boat, using your spoon to really push all the goodness of the veg through the sieve. Add a little more salt and pepper if it needs it.



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