Slow-roast pork shoulder

Slow-roast pork shoulder

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 6 hrs, 30 mins plus overnight marinating

More effort

Serves 6

This smoky, melt-in-the-mouth main course is slow-cooked for several hours, making it ideal for a Bonfire Night feast after the fireworks

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal732
  • fat46g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein77g
  • salt3.1g
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  • 1 tsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2.7kg boned pork shoulder


  1. In a small bowl, mix the treacle, cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, mustard powder and chilli powder until smooth. Using a sharp knife, make deep slashes in the skin of the pork shoulder to cut through the skin and fat layer, but not the meat. Place the joint, skin-side down, in a large dish and rub the spice paste into the meat (not the fat). Turn skin-side, cover tightly with cling film and put in the fridge overnight, or for 24 hrs to give the pork maximum flavour.

  2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Transfer the pork, skin-side up, to a deep roasting tin, rub 1 tbsp sea salt onto the skin and pour 500ml water into the bottom of the roasting tin. Cover tightly with foil and roast in the oven for 5 hrs.

  3. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for a further 1 hr 30 mins or until the pork is very tender and the skin has turned to crispy crackling.

  4. Once the pork is ready, take it out of the roasting tin, cover with foil and leave to rest. Pour the juices from the roasting tin into a jug and leave to separate. Pour off the fat layer and transfer the remaining juices to a large sauté pan. Simmer over a high heat, stirring, until reduced to a rich gravy.

  5. Once rested, cut the pork into pieces – it should pull apart with very little effort – and break the crackling into shards. Serve the pork and crackling with the gravy poured over and mustard mash, honey-roasted carrots and quick pickled red cabbage on the side (see goes well with below right).

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Comments, questions and tips

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chris and geoff
25th May, 2020
Absolutely lovely. Never achieved crackling like this before. Meat was cooked perfectly. Only comment is that gravy very greasy so probably wouldn’t serve again. Will definitely be making again. Served with roasted root vegetables, two dishes in oven no saucepans, great.
Jordan Kennedy's picture
Jordan Kennedy
4th Jun, 2018
Followed recipe a few times and always delivers tasty pulled pork. Try to make sure the tin foil isn't touching the skin during the first cooking part otherwise it does stick to the skin and is tricky to separate. Otherwise no issues, easy cooking and the crackling is the best I've had. Keep checking the crackling as mine was ready before the full cooking tme and could go dry if you leave it on without checking. I just took mine off in one piece and left the pork to cook.
11th Mar, 2018
Don't do this recipe, it's awful. Followed the recipe but the foil has fused to the "crackling"
Andrew Morris-Costigliola's picture
Andrew Morris-C...
17th Dec, 2017
I normally use a recipe of my own creation for melt in the mouth slow roasted pork, but thought I would give this one a try....not good at all. Slow roasted for the time and then turned up to finish and do the crackling. The increased temperature cooked the pork tough and the crackling didn't puff up. Not impressed unfortunately.
26th Sep, 2016
This is ok. Lorraine pascale pulled pork with spicy slaw SOOOOMUCH BETTER. Made both at same time with 2 bits of pork from same place and this isn't in the same league as Lorraine's
29th May, 2016
Oh my gosh this was delicious. Followed the recipe except I did with shorter marinating time (4 hours) and sliced the skin off initially as I just couldn't get a hang of making crackling. But the fatty layer underneath the skin just melted in the mouth as well as the meat. Next time will marinate for longer but other than that I wouldn't change a thing of it! Totally recommended.
10th Apr, 2016
Made the recipe as per instructions (though the 500ml of water was vege stock rather than just water) and it came out really well. I might cook it for even longer next time to make it more pulled pork like.
Michael Tench
3rd Apr, 2016
So so good! I didn't have time to marinate it overnight so I added the rub mix to the left over juices and put it in the oven for the last 1 hour 30 mins. Intensely flavourful gravy so could be watered down and used again.
Mél Tutu's picture
Mél Tutu
14th Jun, 2020
The pork shoulder I have is 1.690kg. How can I adjust the cooking time to make sure it is not over cooked?
lulu_grimes's picture
19th Jun, 2020
Hi, This is a slow-cooked dish so it won't overcook, you could probably take an hour off the cooking time but if the meat isn't tender then allow it the full time. Lulu
18th Sep, 2018
Can I adjust this recipe for use in a slow cooker?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this one in the slow cooker but you could use the following to adapt or instead:
18th Sep, 2018
Is there anyway to adjust the recipe for a slow cooker rather than an oven?
12th Jun, 2017
one and a half hours at 200 degrees seems too long , if the pork is cooked after 5 hours does it need the extra one and a half to form crackling ?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Jun, 2017
James's recipes works really well. The pork continues to cook and the higher heat ensures great crackling. We'd suggest giving it a go!
Jill Phillpot
21st Jun, 2016
We have a friend coming to dinner who can't have any alcohol. Is there a substitute for the cider vinegar.....
12th Jul, 2016
Good apple cider vinegar doesn't have any alcohol content, and if there was any, it would burn off during cooking, so your friend should be fine. However, you could use lemon or lime juice as a substitute.
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