October 09, 2008

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Pear Butter Barbecue Sauce

3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast*
1/2 cup pear butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot chile powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 cup pear cider

for the barbecue sauce:
6 oz tomato paste
1 small onion, minced
3/4 cup pear butter
1 tablespoon mesquite liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

for the barbecue sauce:
Stir all ingredients together. Pour into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a small pan and heat through, stirring occasionally. Cool. Refrigerate until use.

for the roast:
In a small bowl, combine the pear butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Spread over all sides of the pork. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Bake for 30 minutes then pour the pear cider into the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid or foil and lower the temperature to 325. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast measures 160°F, about 2 hours. Allow to sit 15 minutes before removing the netting and slicing. Serve with pear butter barbecue sauce.

*Boneless pork shoulder roast is generally sold with some string wrapped around it. This holds the roast together and needs to remain in place during the baking. You shouldn't cut it off until you are ready to serve. If you can't find a boneless shoulder roast, use a bone-in and either debone and truss before roasting or roast it bone-in cut around the bone to serve.

My thoughts:
This is the best pork roast I've ever made. Juicy and with just a hint of fruity flavor. Despite the somewhat sugary basting sauce, the pork itself isn't particularly sweet-just well caramelized.

Matt said it was "company worthy" and his favorite of all the pork roasts I've made. It really is fabulous and the leftovers make great sandwiches. Pork shoulder roast (also sometimes labeled as "Boston Butt") is also very forgiving, even if you over cook it a bit it stays moist and tender, just make sure to let it sit after it comes out of the oven or all the juices will run out once it is cut. The pear butter barbecue sauce would be great on sandwiches or other meats.

Note: While I haven't tried it, I would supect that apple butter and apple cider could be substiuted with great success if need be.