Sunday, October 09, 2011

Marinated and Slow Roast Pork Shoulder

Marinate: Overnight
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2 to 3 hours

4-5 pounds boneless Pork Shoulder

1 tablespoon Fennel Seed, toasted and finely ground
2 teaspoons Black Peppercorns, cracked
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, lightly chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, passed through a press
Extra-virgin Olive Oil

4 Apples
1 Onion
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 cup dry White wine
Trim sinew and all but p-inch of fat from pork shoulder.

1 In a small bowl mix together the ground fennel seed, cracked peppercorns, thyme and rosemary leaves, pressed garlic, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
2 Rub the mixture evenly over the pork shoulder inside and out. Wrap the pork shoulder tightly in plastic wrap to hold the marinade against the skin and marinate overnight (or up to two days).
3 Peel, halve and core the apples. (A melon baller is a great tool to remove the seeds effortlessly.) Cut each half into 4 equal wedges. Place the wedges in a medium bowl.
4 Peel and trim the onion. Cut in half and cut each half into 12 thin wedges. Mix with the apples.
5 Preheat the oven to 450°.
6 Toss the apples and onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of a roasting pan or Dutch oven with a cover and put the marinated pork shoulder on top. (You may also use a regular roasting pan with aluminum foil to cover.)
7 Roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to 325° and add the wine. Cover the roasting pan and slow roast for 4-5 hours until the pork shoulder is very tender and pulls apart easily when probed with a fork.
8 Transfer the pork shoulder to a serving plate. If the pan juices are very thick, add enough water to loosen, then mash and strain. If more liquid is desired, add a little water. The apples will be so soft that they will break down.

Check the seasoning and correct to taste. Strain the sauce through a coarse strainer to refine the texture if desired.

Serves 4-6 with leftovers.