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Slow Roasted Shoulder of Pork

Asked by HB. Answered on 15th February 2013

Full question

I would like to cook the Slow-Roasted Aromatic Shoulder Of Pork from Nigella Bites. But the largest piece of pork shoulder my butcher has is 7.5kg Will it still take 24 hours to cook or should I apportion the cooking time? It has the bone on.

Hi there! I'm planning on cooking the Slow Roasted Aromatic Shoulder of Pork from Nigella Bites this weekend for a dinner party. Can you advise if the size of pork shoulder in the recipe (9.5 kg) is bone in or out ? I need enough for 8 hungry foodies. Many thanks, MelD.

Our answer

Slow roasting is a fantastic way of cooking. For the cook it is relatively hassle-free - in Nigella's Aromatic Slow-Roasted Shoulder of Pork the meat is cooked for 24 hours but for about 23 hours and 55 minutes of this time you can simply ignore it. Slow roasting at the very low temperature of 120c/250F is also very gentle method of cooking so the fibres in the meat contract less, giving the meat a velvet-tender texture.

Shoulder of pork is particularly well-suited to slow roasting as it has a reasonable marbling of fat in the meat and some connective tissue. These will melt out during slow cooking, helping to keep the meat moist and making it tender. The original recipe in Nigella Bites (p211) calls for a large 9.5kg shoulder of pork as it was intended to feed 12 people with leftovers. A smaller piece of pork will not necessarily need to have the time scaled back as the meat is cooked until it falls apart and is quite difficult to overcook. So we would suggest that for a 7.5kg shoulder on the bone you use the 24 hour cooking time. You will just need to remember that the roast is more likely to feed 6 to 8 people. If the shoulder of pork weighs below 3kg (on or off the bone) then the roasting time may need to be reduced.

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