Slow-cooked pork shoulder with chimichurri

Slow-cooked pork shoulder with chimichurri

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

For the very best result, start this recipe a day ahead by brining your pork shoulder overnight to release the flavour and maintain the moisture. Any leftovers are delicious served with baked beans, or try them with Baked eggs with piperade and sorrel (page 184). Old Bay seasoning is available from most good grocery stores. However, if you can’t find it, the main flavours are mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaves, black pepper, chilli flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger.


Quantity Ingredient
350g salt
1 whole pork shoulder on the bone with skin
1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
20g smoked sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground coffee beans
250ml dry cider, or ale or stout
250ml prepared espresso coffee
3 fresh bay leaves
5 juniper berries, bruised
1 whole savoy cabbage
1/2 quantity chimichurri, to serve
200g wholegrain mustard, to serve


  1. The day before, make a brine by dissolving the salt in 7 litres (28 cups) cold water. Place the pork shoulder in a non-reactive container that will hold it snugly, then pour the brine over until the pork is covered. Leave to soak overnight in the refrigerator – you may need to weigh the pork down with a plate or similar to keep it submerged.
  2. The next day, preheat the oven to 120° C.
  3. Remove the pork from the brine, pat it dry and rub it with the Old Bay seasoning, smoked sweet paprika and ground coffee beans. Place the pork in a casserole dish, skin side up. Pour in the cider and prepared espresso coffee and add the bay leaves and juniper berries. Cover the casserole dish well with baking paper, then with aluminium foil – or use a lid. Slow-cook the pork in the oven for 8 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven, tip the clear cooking liquid into a saucepan and let it simmer for a few seconds. Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To serve, shave the cabbage finely into a serving bowl and season it with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Peel the skin back from the pork, tear the flesh from the bone and place large shards of meat with the cabbage in the bowl. Pour over some of the hot pan juices to cover the bottom of the bowl and wilt a little of the cabbage. Dollop with chimichurri and serve with the wholegrain mustard on the side.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Pork shoulder is a great cut of meat to serve whole, as the fat layer surrounding the flesh is easy to remove after cooking, so you can offer lean meat to those who prefer it.The chimichurri is jam-packed with medicinal benefits. Thyme and oregano, for example, contain thymol, an antimicrobial; sage contains rosmarinic acid, good for the memory; and parsley contains eugenol, a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial compound.
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