Pork shoulder is a dinner host’s best friend. Set this in the oven to roast hours before guests arrive and you will be sitting pretty at dinner time.


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Serves 6-8

You will need:

1 onion, thickly sliced

2 limes, quartered

6 cloves garlic

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

1 pork shoulder, about 4–5 lbs


1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt


freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground dried epazote
or Mexican oregano

several sprigs fresh thyme


21⁄2 cups fresh pear cider (apple cider makes fine substitute)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1” piece fresh ginger,
roughly chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


corn tortillas, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Strew the bottom of a Dutch oven or high-sided roasting pan with onion slices, lime quarters, garlic cloves, and chopped carrot to create a nice bed for pork shoulder.
  3. Score fat side of pork and brush entire shoulder with olive oil.
  4. Season well with salt, pepper, and epazote.
  5. Set pork—fat side up—on top of vegetables, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and pour 1 cup of cider into the bottom of pan.
  6. Set in oven and roast, uncovered until fat is crisp and golden, 40 minutes.
  7. Cover, reduce heat to 300°F, and continue roasting until meat is completely tender and easily falls from bone, about 6 hours.
  8. While meat roasts, combine remaining 11⁄2 cups cider, lime juice, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan.
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Discard ginger.
  10. When meat is finished remove from oven.
  11. Let stand until cool enough to handle then pull meat from bone, shredding meat into nice pieces as you go. Toss meat with hot apple cider glaze and whatever juices have collected in bottom of roasting pan.
  12. Serve with corn tortillas, toasted over an open flame.

TIP:

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Pork shoulder is a dinner host’s best friend. Set this in the oven to roast hours before guests arrive and you will be sitting pretty at dinner time.
Photography by Photography by Dana Gallagher

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