Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Peach Sauce

November 6, 2011

On a recent ATK episode Chris Kimball declared this recipe to be among his top five of all time. That was a strong endorsement given his thousands of delicious recipes. I made the pork with the peach sauce that I saw on America’s Test Kitchen, but there are also two other sauces with this recipe: cherry sauce or with a sweet-tart chutney (to which I could find no reference). Overall, the pork was juicy and fall-apart tender, but it was not bursting with flavor as I had imagined it. The recipe is delicious, but not a top five.  4-star.

Spends most of the day in the oven, but there's plenty of time to relax.

Chris Kimball recommends bone-in pork butt for this recipe because it retains more moister and cooks more evenly that it’s boneless counterpart. Since bone conducts heat so poorly, the meat surrounding the bone stays cooler and cooks more slowly. Plus, the large amount of connective tissue attached to bone will breaks down into a gelatin and keep the pork moist.

Rating: 4-star.
Cost: $18.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 12 Noon. Dinner time 6:30 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here.  The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below.

Ingredients:

6 to 8 pound bone-in pork butt
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peach Sauce:
10-oz frozen peaches (or use 2 fresh peaches)
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

  1. The night before your meal, use a sharp knife to cut slits into the fat cap; 1″ apart forming a cross-hatch pattern, but take care not to cut into the meat.
  2. Combine 1/3-cup kosher salt and 1/3-cup brown sugar in small bowl, then rub over the entire roast (including the slits). Wrap roast tightly using two layers of plastic wrap, place of a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until ready to cook the roast (but no more than 24 hours).
  3. The next day, unwrap and brush off any excess salt mixture using paper towels. Season roast with 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Spray your V-rack coated with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 quart of water to your roasting pan. Place the roast on V-rack with the fat cap facing up and set aside while the oven pre-heats.
  4. Set an oven rack to the lowest position and pre-heat your oven to 325-degrees.
  5. Bake for 5 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the roast. Basting every two hours, adding more water after each basting to prevent the fond from burning. But don’t add so much water as to dilute the liquid.
  6. The roast will be finished when an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone (but not touching) reaches 190-degrees.
  7. Place the roast on a carving board and loosely tented with aluminum foil for one hour.
  8. While the meat rests make the sauce. Pour the jus from roasting pan into a fat separator. After allowing the fat to separate for 5 minutes, pour 1/4-cup into a small saucepan. You can discard the remaining jus.
  9. Cut the peaches into 1″ chunks. Add your peach chunks, 2-cups white wine, 1/2-cup sugar, 1/4-cup rice vinegar, and 2 sprigs of thyme to the small saucepan with the 1/4-cup jus.
  10. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce has reduce to 2 cups remove from heat. Find and discard the thyme sprigs, then add the final tablespoon of rice vinegar and tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Mix together and cover to keep warm.
  11. Cut around the bone (shaped like an up-side-down “T”) with a paring knife, then use a clean kitchen towel to pull it from the roast.
  12. Slice the roast using a serrated knife, and serve, passing the peach sauce separately.
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