Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Apple Gravy


This slow-cooked pork shoulder is simply the ticket on a chilly winter day. It marinates in a single day, then roasts all day. Dinner is prepared when it is fall-apart tender. Serve with a simple apple gravy and a few roast greens on the facet.

Pictures Credit score:
Sally Vargas

Now right here’s a great one for a chilly winter day. Discuss melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious!

A hefty pork shoulder is slathered with a rub of fennel seeds, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and garlic and set to marinate for a day or two within the fridge.

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It’s then nestled in a mattress of sliced apples and onions, first browned on excessive warmth within the oven, after which coated and allowed to cook dinner low and sluggish, till it’s nearly falling aside.

You don’t want a knife to eat this slow-roasted pork shoulder. Only a massive urge for food.

We first encountered this recipe by Napa chef Maria Helm Sinskey within the Wall Avenue Journal years in the past. We’ve made just some modifications—decreased the salt slightly dramatically, added some mustard, puréed and strained the gravy. I really like this methodology of sluggish cooking a pork shoulder and suppose you’ll too!

  • For extra info on apple varieties, try our Information to Apples.

From the editors of Merely Recipes

Methods to Purchase Pork Shoulder

  • Pork shoulder comes from the highest of a pig’s entrance leg (this regardless of its different nickname, pork butt). It is a effectively marbled minimize that advantages from low and sluggish cooking, when it turns into meltingly tender. It additionally goes by “picnic roast” or “picnic shoulder.” (We do not suggest substituting one other minimize right here, as it can possible be too lean.)
  • Bone-in or boned? This recipe requires boneless pork shoulder, however you could possibly use bone-in. The bone provides a number of taste! The draw back? It makes the cook dinner time longer, and you need to do some work to get the cooked meat off the bone.
  • Do it’s good to tie a pork roast? On this recipe, no. Tying (or trussing) helps it roast a bit extra evenly and hold its form higher when sliced—however this recipe is fall-apart tender, anyway.

Low and Slow for Roast Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is hard except it is cooked low and sluggish. The fats within the meat bastes every part from the within, whereas the collagen within the meat begins to interrupt down round 160°F. That is what makes the shoulder fall-part tender.

When you cook dinner the meat at a excessive temp, the fats and water drain out earlier than the collagen melts, making for powerful, dry meat. Lengthy, mild cooking = fork-tender, moist pork shoulder.

What to Serve with Roast Pork

The gravy right here is magic, so search for a starch that sops it up: buttered noodles or mashed potatoes. For veggies, attempt tender cabbage or glazed carrots.

Storing and Freezing Leftover Pork Roast

  • Refrigerate leftovers, tightly coated, 3-5 days.
  • Freeze leftovers as much as 3 months. If in case you have sufficient gravy, freeze the meat instantly in it to maintain it moist.

Attempt These Different Roast Pork Recipes!

  • Slow Cooker Cider Pulled Pork
  • Braised, Stuffed Pork Shoulder
  • Bacon-Wrapped Pork Roast
  • Cuban-Type Roast Pork

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Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Apple Gravy Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook dinner time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 with leftovers

The pork shoulder needs to be marinated within the rub in a single day or as much as two days.


For the spice rub:

  •  2 tablespoons packed, recent thyme leaves, calmly chopped, or 1 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons recent rosemary leaves, calmly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Further virgin olive oil (elective)

For the pork shoulder roast:

  • 4 to 5 kilos (1.8 to 2.2 kg) boneless pork shoulder, sinew and extra fats (past 1/4 inch) trimmed
  • 4 medium good cooking apples, similar to Fuji or Jonagold
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to style
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine (can sub water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly floor black pepper


1 Make the spice rub: Put the fennel seeds, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary leaves, garlic and 2 teaspoons salt right into a spice grinder or espresso grinder and grind to a paste. (Alternatively, you’ll be able to pound the combination with a mortar and pestle.)

Switch the combination right into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

2 Marinate roast in a single day in spice rub: Rub the combination evenly all around the pork shoulder. If the roast is tied, untie it to rub the within with the rub combination as effectively, then retie it.

Wrap the roast tightly in plastic wrap to carry the rub towards the pores and skin and marinate in a single day (or as much as two days).

Pork roast recipe for oven with herbs and spices sprinkled over the top.

3 Prep apples and onions: Peel, halve, and core the apples. Reduce every apple half into about 4 wedges. Peel the onions. Reduce in half from tip to root. Trim the basis and tip. Reduce every onion half into about 12 skinny wedges.

Put the onions and the apples collectively in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with a bit salt and pepper.

Sliced apples and onions in a glass bowl to make a pork shoulder recipe.

4 Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).

5 Place roast on mattress of apples and onions: Place the apples and onions within the backside of a roasting pan or Dutch oven with a canopy. Place the marinated pork shoulder on high of the apples and onions.

A dutch oven with a bone in pork shoulder roast set on top of apples and onions.

6 Roast: Roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Flip the oven warmth all the way down to 325°F and add the wine. Cowl the roasting pan and sluggish roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours till the pork shoulder is falling aside tender and pulls aside simply when probed with a fork.

Pork shoulder in oven, cooked in a dutch oven.

7 Make sauce: Switch the pork shoulder to a serving plate and canopy with foil to maintain heat. Put the apples and onions right into a blender. Add about 1/2 cup water and the mustard and purée.

Verify the feel, and add water till you get the specified thickness for the gravy. Press by a sieve for a silky clean textured gravy. Verify the seasoning and proper to style.

Ingredients in a blender for the sauce for a pork shoulder roast recipe.Overhead view of a blender with sauce inside for a pork shoulder roast recipe.

8 Serve: Reduce the roast into items and serve with the apple gravy. Leftovers will hold refrigerated for as much as 5 days or frozen for 3 months.