Slow-Cooked Aromatic Shoulder of Pork

By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall


1 boned, rolled shoulder of pork (aka a spare rib joint), about 2.5-3kg
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

For the five-spice mix
2 star anise
2 tsp fennel seeds
½ cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 glass white or red wine


  • Heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8.
  • With a craft knife, score the pork rind in parallel lines about 1cm apart and to a depth of 0.5-1cm (or get the butcher to do it for you).
  • Grate the garlic and fresh ginger into a small bowl, and mix to a paste with the chilli, ground ginger, sugar, salt, oil and soy sauce. Pound the five spices in a mortar (or grind in a clean coffee grinder) and mix a tablespoon into the paste (the rest will keep in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place for a month or so).
  • Put the joint skin-side up on a rack over a large roasting tin. Using your fingertips, rub just over half the spice rub into the scored rind.
  • Roast the joint for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and, using oven gloves or a thick, dry, cloth, carefully turn it over to expose the underside. Using a knife or wooden spoon (the meat will be very hot), smear the remaining spice rub over the underside of the meat, which should now be facing up.
  • Pour the glass of wine and a glass of water into the roasting tin, cover with foil (you won't get any crackling, but you will get "chewling" – tender, chewable skin with a lovely, spicy flavour) and turn down the heat to 120C/250F/ gas mark ¼ and return to the oven for five to six hours, turning it skin-side up and basting with the fat and juices in the tin about halfway through.

To Serve

To serve, don't so much carve the joint as scoop the tender, melting, aromatic meat on to warmed plates.