Slow-roasted pork shoulder with leeks, apricots & thyme

Slow-roasted pork shoulder with leeks, apricots & thyme

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 3 hrs Plus soaking


Serves 6 - 8
Make your weekend roast really special with creamy leek and apricot stuffing, extra crispy crackling and tender meat

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal740
  • fat43g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein64g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 2½ kg/5lb 8oz piece boned and rolled pork shoulder - free-range or rare breed is best
  • 1 celery stick, cut into chunks



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 onion, thickly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 carrot, thickly sliced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 150ml white wine or medium-dry cider
  • 500ml strong-flavoured chicken or pork stock
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

For the stuffing

  • 25g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 leeks, cleaned well and shredded



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 85g chopped dried apricot, soaked for 2 hrs in boiling water to cover, then drained
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaf
  • 140g fresh coarse breadcrumb


  1. A few hours before you want to cook the pork, remove it from the fridge and dry the skin thoroughly. Leave unwrapped in a cool place to slowly come to room temperature while you make the stuffing.

  2. Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to sizzle, add the leeks and cook until they are soft and most of their liquid has evaporated. Stir in the apricots and thyme, season well and transfer to a bowl to cool. When the mixture is cold, stir in the breadcrumbs. Taste and season again if required.

  3. When you are ready to cook the pork, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Spoon the stuffing into the pocket your butcher has left for you. Wipe any stuffing from the skin, put the pork in a roasting tin and season the skin well with salt. Put the celery, onion and carrot in the tin around the pork, place in the oven and cook for 30 mins.

  4. Reduce heat to 140C/120C fan/ gas 1 and cook the pork for a further 2 hrs 30 mins. Transfer the pork to a warm serving dish to rest while you finish the gravy.

  5. Tip out any fat from the roasting tin and reserve for another dish. Put the roasting tin on a medium heat, add the white wine or cider and, using a wooden spatula, scrape the caramelised juices from the bottom of the pan and allow them to dissolve. Let the juices reduce by half.

  6. Add the stock and simmer for 5 mins. Add the flour and butter, mashed together, and whisk them into the gravy. Taste for seasoning, then strain into a warmed jug. If your pork skin has not crackled, put under a hot grill for a few mins, turning every 30 secs or so, until bubbled and crackling.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Mar, 2016
This took a lot longer than the time specified. I don't think cooking at 120 for a fan assist over is right. Won't be cooking pork other than in the slow cooker again!
21st Sep, 2015
I made this using boneless pork loin but had some difficulty in getting the stuffing to stay compact and when I sliced the pork, the stuffing fell to pieces. I also didn't get any crackling but I've tried another recipe on this site for roast pork and didn't get it then either, despite following loads of crackling recipes/tips :( However, the pork, gravy and stuffing were really delicious. For the other poster querying the veggies, I found there weren't really any pork juices for making the gravy so I put the cooked veggies in with the cider/stock/flour and strained afterwards - perhaps they'd absorbed the pork's juice as didn't think the gravy tasted that much different to when I've made with lots of meat juices.
Bethlav1's picture
7th Feb, 2015
Made this recently and it worked perfectly! The stuffing was actually quite moist which went beautifully with the tender meat. A definite winner in our house
7th Apr, 2014
I only made the stuffing for this recipe as I couldn't get pork shoulder only leg. still worked really well on the side and the perfect accompaniment to pork because of the sweet/salty quality...
12th Oct, 2013
I haven't tried this recipe yet but I'd like to clarify whether you're supposed to remove the pork AND the celery/carrot/onion before preparing the gravy or leave the veggies in there. What do you think?
6th Jun, 2013
This was extremely good, really tasty and perfect crispy crackling, my joint was 3.5 kg so needed to cook for 45 minutes longer. It fed 10 easily and was enjoyed by all.
4th Nov, 2012
Used rare breed pork and added a bit more cider a bit earlier .... But wow; what a taste - would happily have paid £17 for this in a restaurant!
27th Nov, 2018
can this recipe be done in the slow cooker instead of the oven?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. In order to get good crackling we wouldn't recommend this one as a slow cooker dish. However we do have a number of other slow cooker pork dishes in this recipe collection:
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