Slow-roasted pork shoulder

For eight to ten

Here is the thing about this recipe: it takes a long, slow cook so use this to your advantage; by that I mean if you are cooking this for a Sunday dinner at say 7 o’clock, pop it in the oven while you are preparing your lunch then take the rest of the day off. Or, if you have a really full day and can’t get out of that dinner you promised put this in the oven and get on with your chores. I would recommend that the first time you do this, you pick a day that you’ll be home during the whole cooking process as it is in the oven for such a long time, and temperatures do differ from oven to oven and you’ll want to keep a close eye on it. When you do cook it again you’ll have a better understanding of how this recipe will work in your oven and have the confidence to walk away and leave it.

You need

  • 2.7–3.25 kg (6 lb–7 lb 1 oz) whole pork shoulder (preferably one that has been allowed to hang for a day or so to allow the skin to dry out)
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

Danks Street Depot Cookbook

Recipe and image from Danks Street Depot by Jared Ingersoll, published by Murdoch Books, photography by Alan Benson

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). To prepare the meat, pat it dry, then score the skin with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut into the flesh. Brush the pork with vegetable oil and rub a good amount of salt into the skin. Put the pork on a wire rack in a roasting tin that will be able to catch any juices. Cook in the oven until nicely coloured and the skin becomes crispy, this can take up to 1 hour. While that is happening make your paste.

Lightly toast the fennel seeds, then scoop them into a mortar and use the pestle to grind them with the chilli. Add the garlic and a little salt and keep grinding until it forms a paste. Slowly add your lemon juice and olive oil, mixing well.

Carefully remove the pork from the oven and reduce the temperature to 110°C (225°F/Gas 1/2). Brush the paste all over the pork. Pour a little water into the roasting tin to prevent the pan from burning. Return the pork to the oven.

Check your pork from time to time, adding a little more water to the tin if needed. You can tell when your pork is cooked when the meat starts to give from the bone when you push it with your finger—this will take between 5 and 6 hours.

I like to serve this meat with pickled coleslaw (page 65 of Danks Street Depot) and some boiled potatoes.