How to cook a pork shoulder in your oven

Written by ann johnson
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The Boston shoulder roast is cut from the upper shoulder portion of the pig. It yields bone-in and boneless roasts that tend to be a tough cut of meat. Because of this, the meat is often scored to tenderise and then used as cube steaks. The picnic shoulder comes from the lower portion of the pig's shoulder, providing two large bone-in roasts: the picnic shoulder and the arm roast.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pork shoulder roast
  • Knife
  • Platter
  • Coarse salt
  • Herbs
  • Foil
  • Paper towels
  • Roasting pan
  • Meat rack (optional)
  • Large spoon

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  1. 1

    Slit the rind lengthwise, if the roast has a rind.

  2. 2

    Insert the knife between the rind and the fat, holding the knife flat and cutting parallel to the surface of the meat. Don't remove the fat, just the outer rind layer.

  3. 3

    Pull the rind off as you cut it from the fat.

  4. 4

    Lay the pork on a platter and sprinkle generously with coarse salt and your choice of herbs. (One option is a mixture of thyme, oregano and savoury).

  5. 5

    Rub the salt and herbs onto the entire outer surface of the roast.

  6. 6

    Cover the platter with foil and refrigerate overnight.

  7. 7

    Preheat the oven to 204 degrees Celsius when you are ready to cook the pork the next day.

  8. 8

    Remove the pork from the platter and discard any juices. Pat the entire roast dry using paper towels. The purpose is to remove all the liquid, not wipe off all the seasonings.

  9. 9

    Place the roast in a roasting pan and put in the preheated oven. You can use a meat rack to prevent the roast from sticking to the pan, if desired.

  10. 10

    Reduce the heat to 163 degrees Celsius after 15 minutes.

  11. 11

    Baste the roast (using juice from the bottom of the pan) at 30-minute intervals, beginning when there are sufficient juices on the bottom of the pan.

  12. 12

    Test the doneness by inserting a meat thermometer at the centre of the meat, without touching a bone. Desired temperature is 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips and warnings

  • Cooking time will vary, depending on if the shoulder roast is bone-in or boneless. When purchasing the meat, request the suggested cooking time per pound from the meat department. Cooking times vary from 20 to 45 minutes per pound.

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