Roast pork shoulder
Master crisp crackling and tender, juicy pork for a special Sunday lunch using a cut that also offers good value for money. Serve with your favourite sides
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2kg pork shoulder joint
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 ½tsp fine sea salt
- 1large onion
Step 1Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Remove any packaging from the pork, but keep the string intact, and pat dry using kitchen paper – you want the skin to be as dry as possible. Score deep cuts into the skin in a diamond pattern using a sharp knife (you want to cut into the fat). If the skin is already scored, make sure each cut is dry and can be easily opened. Rub the oil into the skin and into each cut, then the salt, ensuring it's evenly distributed.
Step 2Scatter the onion slices over the base of a large roasting tin and sit the pork joint on top. Roast for 20-30 mins, or until the skin starts to blister and bubble, then put the kettle on to boil.
Step 3Pour half a kettleful of boiling water around the joint to cover the base of the tin, ensuring it doesn’t drip onto the skin. Reduce the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roast for another 2 hrs 30 mins, or until the meat under the skin is very tender when pressed. There’s a lot of fat in pork shoulder, so cooking at a low temperature this way ensures the meat doesn’t dry out – if needed, it can cook for up to 3 hrs.
Step 4Turn the oven back up to 220C/220C fan/gas 7 and continue to roast the pork for 20-25 mins until the skin is very crisp and has begun to harden – it should feel brittle when tapped with a knife. If needed, cook for 10 mins more to achieve this. Remove the pork from the oven and rest for 20 mins in the tin, loosely covered with foil. To serve, break the crackling into large pieces, then smaller chunks. Carve the meat and serve alongside the crackling and your favourite sides.