Updated: May 17, 2020
Dreamy, tender pork roast dinner cooked to perfection with all right seasonings make this a go-to dish for any night of the week!
Pork party in ya' mouth!
If you're a pork lover like me, this is an ultimate go-to for an insanely delicious dinner for not a whole lot of elbow grease. It primarily consists of seasoning the roast, chopping up a few veggies and then preparing your gravy and mashed potatoes during the last bit of roasting time. This meal however does take patience, my friends but it is oh. so. worth it. If you want to skip the mashed potatoes and gravy (although I don't recommend it for obvious reasons) the roast is plenty good on its own with a veggie or salad side!
Tips to Consider for this Recipe:
Don't overdo that fattiness...
When shopping for a roast, fat is good- yes! This is flavor and you can't avoid it, however, I like to avoid getting a roast with too much fat all over because this can eat away at your portions quickly. Thus, find a roast with a little bit of fat here and there but not coated too heavily all over in it.
About that sear...
Aside from a roast that's patted dry and close to room temp prior to searing, the secret to a nice golden, crusty sear is ensuring your oil is plenty hot! You know it's ready when the oil is shimmering. However, you don't want it to be so hot that it's smoking; if your oil is smoking prior to placing your roast in the dutch oven- it is too hot and it will burn your roast, so turn your heat down a tad. Also, if your oil is splattering all over when you place your roast in, bring your heat down just a smidge, but so that it's still hot enough to form a crust on the exterior. I understand not everybody's cooktop is the same, so use your eyes to judge how the crust on your roast is forming. My cooktop is gas, however my "high" setting is my sister's "medium" setting on her stove. Not all cooktops are created equal, so keep this in mind! What you're going for is to have a nice, even, thick and golden-brown crust on the exterior to ensure amazing flavor.
How do I know my roast is done?
Although pork can be eaten at 140 degrees, in this instance you'll want your roast at 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered done. This is because types of cuts that come from highly exercised parts of the body such as the butt or shoulder, contain connective tissues which make these cuts inherently more tough than those that come from less exercised parts of the body. Cooking your roast to well done will ensure that the collagen in the connective fibers have completely melted away, meaning your meat will be fall apart tender. You also want to allow your roast to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before pulling it to a shred or slicing to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat evenly.
When cooking a pork shoulder roast, a general rule of thumb to follow is to roast it 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees plus an additional 20-30, but this is just "general" and can vary due to the fat content, length and diameter of your roast. A roast with more fat will take more time because the fat needs to essentially "melt away" into the roast as much as possible. Extra fat also means the heat will take more time to reach the center of the roast to cook it properly. Typically, what I like to do is roast at 450 in the beginning for 20 minutes to lock in the sear, then reduce to 350 and check it with a meat thermometer inserted in the center after around an hour to see where I'm at. If you want to take an even easier route, it is incredibly helpful to invest in a digital meat thermometer. I have one of these and I LOVE it because I can insert the probe when I start cooking and a notification will come up on my phone to notify me the meat has reached the desired internal temperature; this ensures my meat is perfectly tender every single time and it's a lot less fuss!
Can I just do this in my crock pot?
Of course! Just don't forget to sear your roast first after seasoning, then I'd pop in your veggies in the bottom, throw in the extra salt and pepper, Worcestershire and beef broth and give a stir. Then lay the roast on top and throw in the butter. Just make sure your roast is only covered around an inch, you don't want it submerged in liquid (this will dry out your roast). Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Bake Time: 1.5-2 hours
Total Time: 2-2.5 hours
Yield: 4 servings
What You'll Need:
For the Roast:
An oven safe dutch oven pan and lid
3-3.5 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a few more pinches
1 teaspoon pepper, plus another dusting or two
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups beef broth, plus a generous splash more
For the Gravy:
1 cup of butter (2 sticks, unsalted)
1/2 cup flour
5 cups beef broth
1 cup accumulated pork roast juices
1/4 tsp salt, plus another pinch or two
1/2 teaspoon pepper
See my recipe for those here
*Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F
1. Remove your roast from the fridge between an hour to 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it to bring it close to room temperature (yes, this is safe). This will ensure an even sear all over and assist in your roast not drying out. While your roast sits out to warm up, chop your veggies and set aside.
2. Combine all of your spices, 1 tsp of pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt into a dish and whisk with a fork until combined and set aside. Then, add the canola oil to the dutch oven and heat over high heat.
3. When your roast is room temp or close to it and it's ready for seasoning, pat it dry with paper towels and then season liberally with the seasoning mixture all over until it's heavily coated and set aside. You may only use around 2T or so of the seasoning and have a little left over, this is okay as long as it's generously seasoned everywhere. A lot of seasoning means a lot of flavor, so don't be shy with this!
4. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully lower your roast using large tongs into the dutch oven and sear on each side until a beautiful brown crust has formed, this takes about 1-2 minutes/side. You may want to lower the heat a tad if the oil is splattering uncontrollably, just make sure you're getting a good sear, but not a burnt one. Don't skip the top and bottom of the roast for this either! You want the entire exterior to be a gorgeous, crusty brown. Forming this crust will ensure your meat stays tender, so don't rush this step!
5. Once your roast is golden and crusty seared all over, reduce the heat to medium low and add in your vegetables, Worcestershire and stick of butter, stirring using a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavorful brown bits from the pan. Sprinkle the veggies with a little kosher salt and pepper and stir some more. Then, add in the beef broth, cover and move to your preheated oven.
6. You will roast at 450 for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 1.5-2 hours (this depends on the shape, weight of your roast and overall fat content, so check every 30 minutes or so to see if it's at 160). Check to make sure that the broth hasn't evaporated the last 45-30 minutes and add another generous splash if necessary. You don't want the liquid to completely evaporate or you won't have any juices for your gravy. If you're going to serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, now is a good time to start preparing those (although you'll need to wait until the roast is complete to add your last cup of broth for the gravy). See how to prepare the gravy below, and find my mashed potato recipe here. You'll want to get the potatoes going when there's about 35 minutes or so left for the roast.
7. Once your meat thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in the roast, remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest 10-15 minutes. Then, using two forks, pull the meat apart to a nice chunky shred, and stir it around in the juices to pick up all of the flavory goodness that accumulated during roasting. Remove any big chunks of fat and discard.
For the Gravy:
1. Combine your butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, sprinkle in your flour one bit at a time, whisking constantly to form a rue and to avoid flour clumps.
2. Once it's a caramel-y color (after about 5-10 minutes), add in your beef broth one cup at a time while continuing to whisk. Then, add in about a cup of your accumulated juices from the pork roast. You can scoop it out using a ladle and measure it into a cup to do this. Season with the salt and pepper and continue to cook until a thick gravy consistency has formed. Taste for seasoning.
3. Plate your dish as follows: Mashed potatoes on the bottom, pork on top, then smothered with gravy. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to post a photo and tag @boujeekitchen_ on instagram and hashtag it #boujeekitchen
For nothing will be impossible with God.