Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Roasted Apples

This cut takes a long time to cook, but the prep is minimal and the results are outstanding: supercrispy skin and meltingly tender meat. Slideshow: More Pork Recipes 

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Roasted Apples
Photo: © Eva Kolenko
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 15 mins
6 to 8


  • One 9-pound skin-on, bone-in pork shoulder

  • 8 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 6 baking apples, such as Gala, quartered and cored

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 small cinnamon sticks


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a sharp knife, score the pork skin in a crosshatch pattern. Set the pork in a large roasting pan, skin side up.

  2. In a spice grinder, combine the bay leaves with the juniper berries, 1/4 cup of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper and grind into a powder. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and into the scored skin. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and roast for about 6 1/2 hours longer, until the pork is very tender and the skin is crisp. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the apples with the olive oil and cinnamon sticks and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once, until the apples are lightly browned and softened slightly. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

  4. Remove the pork skin and coarsely chop it. Using 2 forks, pull the pork into large pieces, discarding the fat and bones. Transfer the pork to a platter and scatter the chopped skin on top. Serve with the roasted apples.

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