While we love a good glazed ham on the Easter buffet, this fall-apart-tender pork shoulder has a lot more flavor without a lot of extra work. Once you’ve got the technique down, you can vary the rub to make everything from an herb-laden fall roast to indoor pulled pork, perfect for a rainy-day barbecue.
Serves 8 to 10
1 6-lb boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), skin removed but fat cap intact
1½ tsp whole coriander seeds
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, grated or very finely minced
1. With a sharp knife, score a ¾”-wide crosshatch pattern into the fat cap of the pork (you want to cut though the fat to expose the meat but not through the meat itself).
2. Coarsely grind the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle (you can also spread them on a baking sheet and use a heavy-bottomed pot). Combine with garlic, salt, and sugar. Massage the mixture all over the pork. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, at least 12 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Pat pork dry with paper towels and brush off any big clumps of the rub. Place pork (fat cap up) in a V-rack set inside a large baking pan. Add 3 cups water to the bottom pan and roast 3 hours. (If the top is getting too dark, loosely tent with foil).
4. After 3 hours, baste the pork with pan juices and continue cooking, basting every hour, until the meat is fork-tender, approximately 3 more hours (6 hours total). Allow pork to rest at least 20 minutes before serving.
A rich roast, like pork shoulder, calls for something bright and acidic. Try this: Mix 1 head torn Boston lettuce, 4 sliced or julienned radishes, ¼ cup parsley leaves, and 2 Tbsp chopped chives in a large bowl. Combine 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp Champagne vinegar, 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Toss salad with dressing (you may not need all the dressing) and top with 4 oz goat cheese that’s been crumbled with a fork.