Overnight shoulder of pork with spiced apple relish

Overnight shoulder of pork with spiced apple relish
This is a great weekend roast and special occasion dish and I’ve made it for Christmas, which gifted me a stress-free Christmas Day. The pork chugged away nicely on its own and left me with only a small amount to do on the day itself. A 12-hour roast results in meltingly tender pork you can pull apart with your fingers and sensational crackling. I add cider vinegar to the relish as I find its sharpness great with rich pork. It’s sublime in a sandwich (with the meat and crackling) in a fluffy Irish blaa. When thinking leftovers, think fennel, sage, lemon, beans, cabbage and mustard.

3.5–4kg bone-in shoulder of pork, skin scored by your butcher

sea salt

For the spiced apple sauce

6 Bramley apples

50ml cider vinegar

50g caster sugar

1 nutmeg

2 cinnamon sticks, broken up

1 red chilli, chopped

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Boil a kettle and place the pork on a wire rack, skin side up, in the sink. Pour boiling water over the skin and drain. This puffs up the skin so it’s ready to crackle. Wipe the skin bone dry with kitchen paper. Salt it with coarse sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes, cover with foil and reduce the oven temperature to 120°C/250°F/gas mark ½. Roast for 11 hours.

Remove the foil, return the heat to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7 and roast for 10-15 minutes. You should have perfect crackling. Ensure you don’t burn it at this stage and ruin all your hard work! Rest for at least 15 minutes. The pork will be so tender you can serve it with a spoon.

Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and boil with 50ml water, the vinegar, sugar and spices until the apples are mushy. Serve with the spices still in.

Recipes from ‘Comfort and Spice’ by Niamh Shields, published by Quadrille (www.quadrille.co.uk). Photos © Georgia Glynn Smith


Main ingredients

Recipe Type
Dinner, Entertaining, Family Dinners

Special Info
Egg free, Dairy free

Level of Difficulty

Tip: the pork fat rendered out in the slow roasting process is terrific with roast spuds. Even better than goose fat, I say. Save it in a bowl or jar in your fridge.

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