Wednesday, March 26

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder

Simple slow-roasted pork shoulder is a delicious main for your next dinner party

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder with Anchovy Herb Rub

My parents are on vacation and my husband and I spent the weekend up at their house to watch their cat and enjoy a mini getaway. We decided to completely hole up there for the night and brought up some groceries to make a simple slow-cooked meal for dinner that simmered in the oven while we did tons of laundry and watched a marathon of new releases. This pork shoulder recipe comes from Canal House Cooks Everyday and is the ideal dish to make on a lazy weekend. Pork shoulder is a tough but inexpensive cut of meat and is a perfect candidate for cooking low and slow. First it gets dry-brined in a mixture of salt and sugar which keeps the meat moist and imparts a ton of flavor. Then it gets rubbed with a genius paste made from anchovies and herbs, is seared in a sizzling hot pot, and then get roasted slowly in the oven until the meat is nearly falling off the bone. The combination of the brine and rub forms a deep dark crust on the outside of the roast that is juxtaposed with the meltingly tender meat. It's a great dish to serve at your next dinner party, Sunday supper, or to enjoy as leftovers or weekday lunches and dinners.

More Recipes for Pork Shoulder:
- Slow-Braised Pork Shoulder
- Asian Caramel Pork & Scallions
- Pork Carnitas

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder:
  • Whisk together 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. kosher salt in a small bowl. This is the dry brine.
  • Place a 3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder* in a shallow baking dish and rub the dry brine all over it. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Heat the oven to 300F.
  • Take the pork out to room temperature and rub off any dry brine from the outside.
  • Meanwhile, chop 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, a small handful of fresh oregano leaves, a small handful of fresh thyme leaves, a pinch of pepper, and a pinch of salt until it forms a paste.
  • Rub the paste all over the pork.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add in the pork and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
  • Add 1/2 c. water to the pot and cover with a lid. Place in the oven.
  • Cook for 3 hours, checking every hour to make sure the bottom of the pot isn't getting too dry. Add a little more water if necessary.
  • Remove the pork from the pot, let rest for 15 minutes, and then cut into slices.

Serves six-eight
*Also called pork butt or Boston butt.