Maple-mustard pulled pork

Maple-mustard pulled pork

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(56 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 8 hrs Plus overnight salting

More effort

Serves 6 with leftovers
Coat your pork shoulder with a sweet mustard glaze then slow-roast for soft, tender meat that just falls apart

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal716
  • fat38g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre1g
  • protein61g
  • salt3.6g
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  • 200g sea salt
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 2kg/4lb 8oz piece pork shoulder
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 100g wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp English mustard powder


  1. Mix the sea salt and 200g of the sugar in a large food bag, add the pork and coat it well. (If you don’t have a bag, rub over the pork in a dish and cover with cling film.) Leave in the fridge overnight.

  2. The next day, remove the pork and wipe down the meat with kitchen paper. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Mix the remaining sugar, the maple syrup, mustards and some ground pepper. Rub half the mixture over the pork and sit it on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 6 hrs.

  3. Spoon the remaining maple mixture over the pork and roast for 1 hr more.

  4. Rest the meat for 30 mins on a plate loosely covered with foil. To serve, tear the pork into big fat chunks and, after skimming the surface, spoon over any juices from the tin.

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Comments (77)

Reb89's picture

Pretty good, tricky to adjust cook time for two people but we managed it. We used 700g pork and cooked it for 2 hours on 140 then poured over the remaining sauce then another 45 minutes. We simply halved the other ingredients as it was easier, and on the advice of those below we didn't add much salt at all. It was really nice, will be making it again and again.

f00barr's picture

This was pretty good actually. I served with a generous helping of coleslaw, flatbread, picked gherkins and BBQ sauce, it was pretty tasty.

wimbles's picture

Agree too much salt and reduced after reading the comments, a really easy recipe and very tasty, as for the cooking I always turn the oven up high for about 10 mins to heat it up properly and get it going then turn down. Would normally put this in in the morning and leave it all day, the longer and slower the better IMO

chickin66's picture

Very disappointed with this recipe, followed it to the letter, marinated overnight, cooked for the full 7 hours and there was no way that pork was pulling off the joint! It was barely cooked and not the melt in mouth meat I was hoping for. Cooking at 120 degrees in a fan oven just isn't high enough (and my oven is very reliable). Not sure I will be doing this one again sadly.

momotate's picture

Love the maple/mustard combination. I have done this 2 ways, first with the salt-sugar overnight thing. Ended up being a bit too salty for my liking. If I am only looking for meat to be moist I would brine the roast in water/salt/sugar. This time I didn't do the overnight rest, I let it sit in the mustard/maple. I found no advantage to that as when I pulled the pork no special flavor inside. So being as I cooked it in the slow cooker I had plenty of liquid left. I separated the fat and cooked down the remaining liquid, reducing it quite a bit. Poured this over the pulled pork and each and every bite had the lovely sweet mustard flavor. That does it for me.

nom nom's picture

This went down very well! I will definitely make this again but will have to change a few things. I started off with a 1.3kg piece of pork shoulder but it ended up feeding 4 adults generously, when I thought I'd have enough left over for lunch the next day. I think this is because I marinated it for too long and lost a lot of the meat juices so it shrank. Also, I cooked it for 4hrs then 30 mins but I should've cooked it for 3hrs then 1hr. It was hard and dry on the outside. Despite rinsing the salt/sugar mixture off, the outside was still quite salty. This may be because I marinated it for too long or I used too much salt (100g). The meat inside was delicious though!

TomPostma's picture

I notice that a lot of folks are having second thoughts about the amount of salt. To remove the excess salt, I don't rub it down but simply rinse off the salt under the tap! Removes all residue from the surface and returns a delicious roast.

Mrs Allan's picture

Hi - how much should I adjust cooking times if my shoulder joint is 2.3kg? Thanks! Making on Christmas day so feedback much appreciated!

laurabentley's picture

I love this recipe- so easy and economical.

I remove the rind from the pork beforehand and use that to make pork scratchings. I cook a 1kg joint, halving the ingredients and reduce the time by an hour. I find even halving the quantity of glaze makes more than needed, but this is not a big issue.

This recipe has become a household favourite.

Username99's picture

A word of caution with this recipe. I've just made the pulled pork, it was so salty and not edible.Can't really understand why there are so many good reviews.
What a complete waste of time and money.

AngelaU's picture

I've made this a few times and it is delicious. I used a 1Kg joint the last time and it was a little dry when it came out of the oven but still very good. I probably should have taken it out of the oven a couple of hours earlier as it was quite a small piece.
It is lovely and really easy to make.

jacqueliney's picture

hi, was your shoulder rolled and tied with rind on?

kerryo231's picture

Made this on Saturday for an evening with friends and it went down a treat! Meat was tender and tasty. The recipe and instructions were great - didn't change a thing (apart from removing the rind/fat before curing), didn't need to! Still enough left over for buns the next day - the kids loved it just as much as the adults! Winner - will definitely make again.

food scout's picture

Cooked this in the Aga. 30 mins in roasting oven, then wrapped in foil, overnight in the simmering oven (12 hours in total). Rested for 15 mins, then forked the meat. Warmed up later with the juices poured over, served in brioche buns with the autumn coleslaw. Everyone had seconds. Delicious.

gilllegge's picture

This is lush! End of. Have done it several times and the whole family love it. I get my butcher to take the skin off for me before cooking and I cook it separately but serve with the meal. My butchers tip for great crackling (which works 9/10 times for me) is as follows: place on a wire rack and pour over boiling water. Pat dry and leave in the fridge uncovered for as long as possible. Then before cooking pour boiling water over again, pat dry then rub with oil and salt. Yum.

sdtikispicygirl's picture

This pork is delicious, both my daughter and myself have made this several times, can create bad table manners all enjoying the soft, tasty meat. Never a wasted joint.

Glade's picture

This recipe definitely produces some beautiful man food! Made this for a family BBQ and everybody loved it, unfortunately I didn't get any crackling from it as it came out too rubbery to serve. I've heard if you blast it on a higher heat for the first two hours you will end up with good crackling, will try this next time to see if it works.

joanneeland's picture

For some reason I can't rate this on my phone but if I could id give it 5 stars. It is delicious. I made it last night for a world cup party with 12 people. I got two 1.5kg pieces of pork shoulder and stuck them in the oven at 10.30am, served them at 6.30pm so they were in about 8 hours total. Very succulent and flavorful. A couple of my guests make pulled pork all the time in their slow cookers and thought this was better. I also made the bbq sauce to accompany it. Served in white rolls with homemade baked beans, homemade spicy wedges, creamy coleslaw and onion rings. All the men had seconds and there are still about 6 more portions left. Seriously recommended and very easy. Oh and I only used 100g of salt for the two pieces and it wasnt overly salty at all.

WoollyWord's picture

Bit disappointed by this. Having read the comments, I took care wiping off the salt/ sugar mixture, but the outer part of the pork was inedible - still very salty, and the lovely glaze was lost when I tried to salvage the meat. What remained was tasty. I'll have to try again.

spicelover's picture

OMG - this is without doubt the best thing I've cooked lately - it was outstanding. In fact, I'm trying to portion up some leftovers for the freezer and it's impossible ;)
I didn't change a thing and served it for Father's Day with Roast New Potatoes and Celeriac & Apple Slaw (added broken walnuts and called it Waldorf Slaw!!) and some crusty rolls. Going to do it instead of a barbecue later in the year - it is seriously easy.


Questions (27)

alucym's picture

I would like to cook this beforehand and reheat. What would be the beat war to reheat it?

richardsmart's picture

Hi there the weight of the pork - 2kg/4lb 8oz piece pork shoulder - is that the weight with the bone in, or once the joint has been boned? Im confused!

goodfoodteam's picture

This recipe uses a boneless piece of pork shoulder. Thanks for asking as this will clarify it for other readers too.

hayzie84's picture

Can i do all the cooking apart from the last hour one day then finish it off the next?

tracieah's picture

Can I make this or similar with a leg of pork as just been given One and not sure what to do with it. Family not keen on roast dinners so don't want to roast it. Any advice greatly received

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi traceiah, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe using a leg of pork and as it's not as fatty as shoulder it could dry out during cooking, otherwise the result should be similar so do let us know how you get on if you decide to use this method. 

zebbeth2014's picture

Hello GF Team, I would like this Pulled Pork Recipe for 15 people. Will two pork shoulders of 2kg each will be enough please? I will serve a soup and a small portion of ricotta cannelloni before serving the pulled pork. Also should I tell the butcher to take the bone and skin off please? One last question : If I am going to cook both pork shoulders together in a normal fan oven, for how long do I have to cook it ? And shall I leave the temperature on 120C all the way as suggested in the recipe? Hope to hear from you soon.... THANKYOU

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi zebbeth2014 thanks for your questions, 4kg of pork for 15 should be plenty. Do ask your butcher to remove the skin and take out the bone(s). If you like, ask your butcher to give you the skin to make pork straws!

It should be no problem to cook both shoulders in the same oven, using the same times and temperatures in the recipe. Hope this helps. 


Mrs Allan's picture

Hi - how much should I alter the cooking times to suit a 2.3kg shoulder joint? I am making on Christmas Day? Thank you!

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Mrs Allan, apologies that we didn't get to your question before the big day. Cooking times should be fine as they are for just an extra 300g but if in future you choose one any larger it won't do the meat any harm if you cook it for a little longer, re-covering it after checking the meat occasionally until the pork is really tender. Hope this helps.

denzil2789's picture

thinking of doing this for Christmas dinner as a bit of a change, just wondering what to serve with it? cheers

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi denzil2789 sounds great, try this with our sticky spiced red cabbage a potato dish or a butternut squash dauphinoise and some sprouts or a serving of a winter slaw For an extra Christmas flourish try with hope this helps. 

momotate's picture

I see I have the same question as a previous poster regarding the salt/sugar producing a wet piece of pork. I just put mine in the oven and am praying that after the cost of the meat and the time running my oven I do not end up with a dry tough product. Has no one else had this problem? What should I have done differently?

jacqueliney's picture

just bought my pork shoulder from the butcher, it is rolled, tied and has rind on.
is this right or do i need to unroll it?

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there, thanks for your question, unroll the meat and remove the rind before marinating. Thanks.
kep's picture

I covered the pork with the 200g sea salt and 200g sugar and put it all in a bowl overnight and in the morning it was sitting in about 1-2 cups of meat juice. Is this right? The pork was quite dry after cooking and I thought no wonder!! Want to try again but what did I do wrong? I think it would be best with the rind off from the start, because it was too chewy to eat yet it had all the lovely marinade on it. Best if it was on the meat.

ldraycott's picture

Does anybody know if you should cover with foil before cooking ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, there is no need to cover with foil, thanks.

moonfan's picture

Can I get away with using normal English mustard as opposed to mustard powder?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, mustard would be a good alternative, thanks.


Tips (3)

Parisproctor's picture

Agree with reducing Salt. Would suggest 50g per kg of pork. I also used a mixture of Dijon and Wholegrain Mustard and the feed back from the guests was amazing. The Dijon also gives the rub a really nice colour/texture and provides a better coating of mustard for the meat. Great Meal.Would also recommend that you have a big bowl of this ready

cbren4's picture

Before I begin, I LOVE the recipe so much! I have a few tips I'd love to add:

1. ONLY use sea salt, any finer salt will absorb into the meat faster, creating a salt lick instead of beautiful meat.

2. I would suggest using 100g of salt instead of 200g. You can always add some more later to the sauce to balance it out.

3. When making the cooking marinade, use half the sugar, about 50-55g, for the beginning, and when there is an hour left, add the rest of the brown sugar to caramelize. In my cooking marinade, as I said before, 50-55g of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of Colman's Mustard, 2 tablespoons of mustard powder (Colman's would be great, but if not, don't worry, just use regular), 100ml maple syrup, 100g whole grain dijon mustard, 2 splashes of apple cider vinegar, and some black pepper.

4. I just put the pork on the bottom of the roasting pan, so it would cook in it's own juices and the marinade. Then after the meat is rested and some fat has been skimmed, shred the meat in the roasting pan and mix with the juicy goodness.

5. I added another hour to the cooking time, it made it SUPER tender, totally worth the extra wait. So, 7 hours cooking, then add remaining marinade mixture, then cook another hour before it rests for 30 minutes.

I made this dish for a dinner party and people loved it so much it was referred to as Meat Candy.

Thanks and Enjoy! :)

philhowardbrand's picture

I made this a couple of weeks ago and 200g salt is a lot, and made the dish incredibly salty. I made this again with a couple of tablespoons of salt (as I've seen in a couple of other pulled pork recipes) and it turned out a lot better.