John D Lee is a chef and restauranteur living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He's always loved to cook.
Foolproof, Easy, and Delicious
Ready to make a pork roast unlike anything you’ve ever had before? Well, although it can hardly be considered quick cooking, this technique is certainly easy. And it delivers foolproof, ever-so-tender, ever-so-tasty pork—every time.
Although this will sit in your oven for a full day—that’s right, a full 24 hours—there is only a few minutes of active work involved.
This technique, which has been popularized by the British cookbook author Nigella Lawson, has you roast a full pork shoulder in an oven that is just barely hotter than the desired internal cooked temperature. This lengthy cooking, the exaggerated equivalent of low and slow as preached in the BBQ circuit, melts any last bit of collagen in the meat and delivers the falling-apart, tenderest (but still juicy) pork roast you’ve ever had in your life—guaranteed. Additionally, since you’re cooking at basically the temperature you want to serve at, and since this hunk of meat is so substantial, it’s nigh impossible to overcook this beast!
Also, your house will smell great all day.
Give this a try the next time you’re cooking for a crowd. Everyone will marvel at what you serve. (You don't need to tell anyone how effortless it all was, too!)
- 1 whole pork shoulder (15-20 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Heat your oven to as high as she’ll go.
- Take the whole pork shoulder and rub it all over with a paste made from the olive oil and minced garlic.
- Heave the pork onto a roasting pan, and pop it into your searing-hot oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the pork out of the oven. Let the oven cool down to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (leave the oven door open to accelerate the cooling process).
- Once the oven has reached 220 degrees, return the pork to the oven and forget about it for the next 23 or so hours.
- After about 23 hours, crank up the heat again, and give the pork a final 30 minutes to brown and crisp.
- Remove the pork from the oven—and be amazed at what you’ve created!
Take five minutes to get this started as you prepare Saturday dinner, and you’ve got your Sunday feast covered! It takes the smallest amount of forethought and takes all of the strain out of preparing a giant family meal. Also, it really will taste amazing.
A pork shoulder is a must for this recipe. It’s got the fat and collagen needed for this lengthy cooking. Don’t try this with a loin roast! If you’ve never roasted a shoulder before, you are in for a real treat; it is in my opinion, the tastiest part of the pig (bacon not included, obviously).
Melinda on April 04, 2019:
Absolutely sounds heavenly. One question. .is the roast cooked in a cvrd pan, or left uncovered? Definitely want to Try adap. Thank you for ur Wonderful post.
John D Lee (author) on February 21, 2011:
Yeah - this definitely has some similarities to the school of BBQ! I am a proponent of brining, but would probably not brine this one. There is no need to do some from moist and tenderness perspective and there is plenty of flavor as is.
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on February 13, 2011:
This is also how I like to smoke a pork shoulder for pulled pork...low and slow. Of course doing that, you can skip the hi-temp prortions.
But I never tried cooking a roast this way. Do you ever brine first?
readyred on November 25, 2009:
this has to be the easiest way to cook a pork roast and the one that tastes the best. i don't cook it any other way.
Felix J Hernandez from All over the USA on November 24, 2009:
Bookmark, pork lover to the fullest.
coffeesnob on October 31, 2009:
bookmarking this one thanks
Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on October 30, 2009:
Sounds great - Slow Cooking delivers the tastiest and jusiest products Thanks!