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How to Slow Roast a Pork Shoulder


Ryan Miyamoto
December 10, 2020
4 pound pork shoulder
Himalayan pink salt
Granulated garlic
Granulated onion
Chili powder
1 to 2 cups water or broth
¼ cup lard, schmaltz, or coconut oil
16 ounces yellow onions, sliced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar


The best part of large cuts of meats is having amazing leftovers!

Anything you plan to slow cook (or pressure cook, instant pot) should ALWAYS be browned or seared on all sides first. This is to ensure the moisture gets locked in. Otherwise, you’ll have a really flavorful broth with a dry and bland cut of meat. A great way to cook a large cut of meat and have leftovers that can be repurposed is to cook it without sauce.

Never, ever sear with a sauce, if possible only use salt, pep, dry herbs, etc. The sauce comes last.

Pork is fatty so salt and acid are a go-to pairing. By keeping the roast minimally flavored, you can save some of the meat for another dish and only sauce what you need to serve. This helps with leftover-fatigue.

You'll know when the roast is done if it’s tender enough to take tongs, or two forks and shred apart.

There are several ways to finish this recipe, garnish, and plate. Adapt this easy pork shoulder technique to make pulled Kalua style pork with Hawaiian flavors like sesame and ginger, or bring in a classic southern BBQ sauce, or simmer in chile verde salsa.

Allow the pork Shoulder to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Dry rub the shoulder evenly with the suggested rub. Add fat of choice to a large Dutch oven style pan and preheat over medium-high heat.  Sear the roast for 2 minutes on each side, adjusting heat as needed to get an even sear on all sides. Remove from the pan and rest for 5 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 325°.

Once the roast has been seared and rested, put it back in the dutch oven and add apple cider vinegar (this helps break down the muscle and tenderize), onions, and either broth or water and bring to a simmer for five minutes.

Place the entire roast in the oven and cook for as long as needed, up to 2 hours depending on the size of the roast.

Remove from the ven when the roast is fork-tender and falls apart easily.

Optional: simmer onion, broth, and cider vinegar in the dutch oven to create a base for a delicious pulled pork sauce.

Lance Roll
Lance Roll is the executive chef and founder of The Flavor Chef, specializing in professional catering and private chef services in San Diego...
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