Slow-roasted pork shoulder with garlic, citrus and coriander

Obviously Jewish and Muslim people and vegans/vegetarians should look away now.

It looks more complicated than it is but believe me it’s well worth the effort for a special occasion.

Source: Alison Roman

In almost any form, a large hunk of pork is predisposed to deliciousness. The sheer size of a pork shoulder, in addition to the abundance of marbled fat throughout, makes it nearly impossible to mess up; unlike a standing rib roast or a rack of lamb, you’re not aiming for rare, which takes a lot of the pressure off. This flavourful cut of meat is best slow cooked, then sliced when it’s just tender enough. That said, if it were to fall apart into melt-in-the-mouth shreddy bits, would that really be the worst thing?

Serves 8

1.6-1.8kg boneless, skinless pork shoulder, any twine or netting removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 orange, halved
2 garlic bulbs, halved lengthways
6 thyme sprigs
3 fresh or dried bay leaves .
3 dried red chillies, or 1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
250ml (1 cup) orange juice
1/2 bunch coriander, thick stems separated from the tender stems and leaves
4 limes, halved


Preheat oven to 165°C. Season pork with salt and pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy- based saucepan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sear pork, fat side down, until it’s really well browned, which should take 8-10
minutes. Turn pork over and brown on the other side for another 8-10

Transfer to a large serving platter or cutting board, and drain pan of all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add orange and garlic to pan, cut side down, followed by thyme, bay leaves, chillies and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring for a second, to lightly brown the orange and

Add orange juice and 500ml (2 cups) water, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom. Return pork to the pan; the liquid should come a little less than halfway up the meat (add more water if it doesn’t).

Cover pan and transfer to oven. Roast pork until it is super-tender; ideally you want to be able to slice it, not shred it. This should take roughly 3-4 hours.

Remove pan from oven and, using tongs or two large serving utensils, transfer pork
to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes.
Chop thicker stems of coriander and add to pan with pork juices.
Juice 2 limes into pan, throwing spent limes in, too.

Slice pork and return it to pan with any juices; alternatively, place sliced pork on
a large serving platter and ladle juices over it. Top pork with remaining coriander before serving, along with remaining lime halves for squeezing over.

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