Cooking the Perfect Pork Shoulder Roast
Few things compare to the tender meat of a pork shoulder roast. This versatile cut is one of my all time favorites. Properly cooked this roast if moist and full of flavor. Served for a Sunday family meal with mashed potatoes and gravy, sliced for sandwiches, or shredded for pulled pork or carnitas this roast is simply hard to beat.
Pork shoulder roasts or Boston butts are sold bone-in or boneless, and are often priced very attractively. I personally prefer the bone-in roast, I feel it has more flavor and when properly prepared is more tender than the boneless roast. Both cuts do require a long cooking time in order to achieve proper tenderness.
- 3 - 4 pound bone-in shoulder roast
- 2 large onions
- 4 - 5 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
- Thoroughly rinse the roast in cool water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Let the roast rest on a plate covered with plastic wrap on the counter for at least 30 minutes to come up to room temperature.
- Massage all sides of the roast with cooking oil. Liberally sprinkle all sides of the roast with salt and pepper (do not season the roast until you are ready to cook, salting the meat ahead of time will draw moisture out of the roast).
- Heat your grill on high and brush to clean. Reduce the heat to medium high and place the seasoned roast directly over the heat source and brown on all sides.
- Do not be alarmed if the grill flames up, it will. Due to the high fat content of the meat it is bound to do so. Some fire won’t hurt the roast but do keep an eye on it and move it out of the way if it begins to burn. Once the roast is browned on all sides it is ready for the crock pot.
- Chop the onions into large pieces and place them in the bottom of the crock pot. Peel the garlic and add the whole cloves to the onions. Place the roast fat cap up directly on the onions. This will allow the fat to drip down through the meat as it cooks keeping it extremely moist. Put the lid on the crock pot and set heat to high. Do not add any liquid to the crock pot.
- Cook on high for two hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for about another four hours. Keep the lid on, resist the temptation to open the crock pot to check the roast.
- Roast is done when the bone can easily be removed with tongs.
- If you prepared a boneless roast, test for tenderness with a fork. The meat should easily fall apart when tested.
- Lift the roast from the crock pot and loosely tent with foil on a platter or cutting board for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing or shredding.
The method I like best for cooking a roast uses a crock pot. Low and slow is the secret to a moist tender roast, and the crock pot certainly makes it easy.
I normally like to season my roast very simply with salt and pepper giving me the most options for the left-over meat.
This roast was prepared to make carnitas for a large group so I added additional spices.