Pork Shoulder Roast

We get a half a pig from a local farm once of twice a year, so we’ve been learning a lot about how to cook pork (and how NOT to cook it!). A few weeks ago we discovered how amazingly tender and juicy brined pork-chops are. I’ve never been crazy about pork-chops because they get so dry and tough by the time they are cooked, but not when you brine them! So, we’ve got a big, beautiful pork shoulder roast in the freezer that we’re going to try brining, too! I’ll up-date this post after we’ve tried it.

(Update: I’m altering the recipe a little bit, but this was DELICIOUS!! I’m upping the garlic and lowering the salt…)

Pork Shoulder Roast

6 to 8 pound pork roast (shoulder or butt)


  • ¾ cup sugar (or other sweetener, like honey, or rapadura)
  • 1 cup pickling salt
  • 2 quarts of water

Garlic Paste Rub (adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe):

  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • Several sprigs of fresh marjoram
  • 6 to 8 teaspoons Celtic sea salt (one teaspoon per pound of meat)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Dissolve the salt and sugar into the water and pour over the meat, making sure that the meat is covered. Let sit in the fridge at least 8 hours and up to 12.
  2. Rinse the meat, pat it dry and place it fat-side-up on a rack in a roasting pan. Use a sharp knife to score the top surface of the roast.
  3. Thoroughly mix the ingredients to make the rub and then apply it to the meat, making sure to get it into the slits.
  4. Let the meat sit at room temperature for half an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 3 hours (do not cover). Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

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