It was my daughter’s turn to choose the protein when we went grocery shopping. She chose an 11.5 lb bone-in whole pork shoulder. The only thing I’ve ever cooked over 5lb of meat was a turkey, so when it came time to make dinner, I had to search out instructions on cooking a monster piece of pork.
I admit to indulging in cooking shows lately. It’s keeping me sane (it’s been a rough year) and although I’ve watched Jamie Oliver’s Christmas specials, I’ve never seen any other of his cooking. So, the first thing I did when wondering how to cook a giant pork shoulder without drying it out, and wanting the yummy crackling to crisp up, I Googled Pork Shoulder Jamie Oliver. And oh look! Of course he’s got the recipe for me! What a wonderful man. *grin*
Because my roast is double the size his instructions are written for, I had to make just a couple adjustments… so here’s what I did.
I used a deep-sided lasagna pan, because my turkey roasting pan was too big, and my other pans were too small. I put a baking rack in the bottom, simply to keep the meat from possibly sticking to the pan.
Instead of using just salt and pepper, I buy pork rub from our local bulk foods store. It’s not overly salty, and it has a lovely smokey flavor.
- 11 lb bone-in pork shoulder, skin on
- Sea salt
- Pork Rub seasoning
- quartered potatoes
- peeled carrots
- Bring roast to room temperature. Jamie says an hour, but mine took longer, closer to two and half.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Score lines in the skin about an inch apart (or closer). (You need a VERY sharp knife for this. I used my fillet knife). Score through the skin, but try not to cut into the meat. I did in a couple of places, but just barely. Didn’t seem to hurt anything.
- Rub sea salt into the gashes you just made. I think I might have used about 1 Tblsp total. Brush excess off the skin.
- Turn the roast over and season. I used a generous amount of my pork rub.
- Place in the baking pan skin side up, and put in the hot oven. It took an hour for the skin to start puffing and turning into the crackling.
- Then pull it out of the oven, drop the temp to 325, and cover the roast with two layers of foil, sealing it around the edges of the pan. You don’t want to let ANY moisture out. Try not to let the foil touch the top of the roast, because I had small bits of foil stuck to the crackling when I opened it.
- Put back in the oven. Then I let it go for 5 hours. Don’t open the oven, don’t peek at it. Don’t let out any moisture. I did not use any other liquid in the pan, because I wanted all those lovely porky juices.
- When my 5 hour timer went off (thank you cell phone) I uncovered it and put in the veggies. Basted everything with the juices (there’s a lot!) Jamie said this would only take an hour… The veggies didn’t cook well enough by then. So at 1 hour, I pulled out the meat and set it to rest, and then left the veggies cooking in the juices, bumping the oven up to 425 again, for another 20 min. Everything was perfectly done.
I did not make a gravy. I saved the juices, putting it in a plastic container after it cooled, and put it in the fridge to render off the fat (and throw it out) and then used the juices to make soup.
The meat was so juicy and tender, it seemed to melt on the tongue. It fed my family for 3 days, with enough leftover to put in the soup. I just kept the whole roast in the fridge in a big Tupperware and we ate the veggies and meat for suppers, and made a couple of sandwiches, too. SOOO GOOD! And that crispy crackling from the top add just that little somethin’ to the plate.