Active Time
45 MIN
Total Time
3 HR 45 MIN
Serves : 8 to 10 
© Marcus Nilsson

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a very large pot, whisk the kosher salt and brown sugar with 6 quarts of water until dissolved. Wrap the árbol chiles, oregano, garlic, bay leaves, star anise and 1 tablespoon of the fennel seeds in cheesecloth and tie the bundle with kitchen twine; add to the brine.

Step 2    

Submerge the pork in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3    

In a medium saucepan, combine the coriander, cumin and the remaining 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds. Toast over moderately high heat until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder; let cool, then grind to a powder. In a small bowl, whisk the oil with the spices, Thai chiles, vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt.

Step 4    

Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Put the pork on a rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the meat and shape it into a tight roast. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.

Step 5    

Preheat the oven to 425°. Roast the pork until well browned, about 45 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Lay 2 very large sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface, set the pork in the center and wrap up tightly. Return the pork to the rack and roast until very tender, about 2 hours longer. Let rest in the foil for 30 minutes.

Step 6    

Unwrap the pork and transfer to a carving board. Thinly slice against the grain. Pile the sliced pork and the slaw on the dinner rolls, slather with aioli and serve.

Make Ahead

The sliced roast pork can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.


Serve with a delicious Three-Cabbage Slaw and Dinner Rolls.

Suggested Pairing

Savory Rhône-style red: 2013 Qupé Los Olivos Cuvée.

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Aggregate Rating value: 2

Review Count: 1

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Nancy Carlson

Review Body: So... I took the three days to make this. It was juicy and tender pork but there was no heat from all the brine and rub and it tasted like any roast pork. I expected amazing flavor! The pork shoulder will NOT slice like the picture, even the butcher was puzzled by that. I ended up shredding it and adding all the juice and meat to a crock pot.  Gahhh so much work for no real result. Good slaw though which made it,  along with the 2 minute aioli from Serious Eats. I would not do this one again.  Oh to answer the question below, dried chilies de arbol.

Review Rating: 2

Date Published: 2017-01-02

Author Name: Ernest Apollo

Review Body: This is more of a burger than a sandwich!

Review Rating:

Date Published: 2017-05-10

Author Name: Audrey McFadden

Review Body: Are the chilies de arbol dried or fresh?

Review Rating:

Date Published: 2016-12-01