Tim went to Keystone this past weekend for a ski trip in celebration of his good friend’s bachelor party. So, lots of skiing and lots of drinking. I wanted them to have some good grub to help reduce those hangovers a little, so, I made a tender and delicious pork roast.
This recipe has been my go-to for a shoulder roast since the college days! It’s crispy on top, moist inside and all around so tasty. Somehow I’ve never made it for Tim, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to share this recipe with him.
There are two things to strive for in a great pork shoulder roast: bark and juice. What is a bark you say? The bark is the the chewy, dark, crusty exterior that will develop from the mixture of spices rubbed on the layer of fat on top of the roast. I used a homemade spice mix for the rub. It’s similar to your standard Cajun mix, but with mustard powder and brown sugar added. Don’t be shy when using this, you really want to develop a nice crusty bark! Keeping this nine pound hunk o’meat juicy is not such a difficult task either. Pork shoulder pretty much always comes out tender and falling off the bone. But just to ensure this, and that I would have leftover liquid for a homemade BBQ sauce, I added about a cup of raw apple cider vinegar mixed with a little water to the bottom of the pan.
This recipe takes a bit of work at first, but after you have it in the oven you just watch and wait as well as maybe drool a little until it’s ready to pull (about six hours later depending on size of the roast).
I couldn’t bear to part with the delicious drippings so I thought I’d build a BBQ sauce around it. I poured all the drippings into a mason jar and, once cooled, placed it in the fridge. When I pulled the mason jar out a bit later, all the extra fat sat on the top and was easily scraped off and discarded.
Everyone has their own opinion about the best BBQ sauce; Kansas, Texas, Carolina…etc., so feel free to play around with this recipe. For instance, if you like it sweet add some extra molasses or brown sugar. More vinegary? Add apple cider vinegar. I didn’t add much more vinegar to ours since there was already enough of the flavor in the drippings. Adding some leftover spice mix is also an option.
The end result is a delectable and tender pork shoulder with a delicious sauce to boot. Give this recipe a try! We’re certain you won’t be disappointed.
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Homemade BBQ Sauce
Moist pulled pork with a crusty exterior
(2 T.) Smoked paprika
(2 T.) Mustard powder
(2 T.) Cumin
(2 T.) Oregano
(2 T.) Brown sugar
(1 T.) Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
(1 t.) Cayenne.
(9 lb.) Pork shoulder a.k.a. “pork butt”
(1 cup) Raw apple cider vinegar
(1/2 cup) Water
Mae’s BBQ Sauce:
Leftover pan drippings
(1 cup) Ketchup
(2 T.) Blackstrap molasses
(2 T.) Tomato paste
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Pepper as needed
Preheat oven to 325° F. Start by rinsing off your pork shoulder. Place in a roasting pan with the fat side UP. We have a small rack that raises the meat off the bottom, but I’ve also completed this recipe without the rack and it has turned out fine. Rub the spice mix on the top of the pork. I used all of mine for a 9 lb pork shoulder. Then add about a cup of apple cider vinegar plus water to the bottom of the pan.
I like to give the bark a head start on its way to crispiness by putting the pork in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes, but then covering for the remainder of the cook time. Take the pork out of the oven every couple of hours and used some of the juice from the bottom of the pan to baste the sides of the pork, trying not to rinse off the spice mix. This 9 lb roast cooked up in just about six hours. The internal temperature should be around 195°, and the meat should easily pull apart and be able to be shredded with a couple of forks.
To make the sauce add ketchup, molasses, tomato paste, vinegar, and about a 1/2 cup of the drippings to a sauce pan. Stir, and bring to a low simmer then reduce heat. Cook at least 30 mins (I did closer to 45) until the liquid is reduced and the sauce has reached desired thickness. Stir frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan.