How-To Guides

How to cook a rolled pork shoulder joint

What is rolled pork shoulder?

The rolled pork shoulder might be the go-to joint for a classic pork Sunday Roast. With more intermuscular fat (marbling), it produces wonderfully moist and flavoursome meat and some of the best crackling available.

Our butchers have tunnel-boned out the shoulder joint to aid with carving, leaving only the meat and skin. These are then cut and tied to your chosen weight. A whole rolled pork shoulder will feed 14-16 people, whilst a smaller 800g is perfect for four people to share. Saying that, if you want leftovers for sandwiches or noodles the following day, it’s advisable to over-order!

How long to cook a rolled shoulder of pork?

Rolled shoulder pork cooking times vary depending on the size of the joint, but a long slow cook will produce the best results. An average 1.4kg shoulder will take around 5-6 hours to cook using the below method.

How to cook rolled pork shoulder

  1. Leave the pork shoulder in the fridge uncovered for around 24 hours to dry out the skin.
  2. Remove the shoulder from the fridge at least 4 hours before you intend to cook it, so it has time to reach room temperature.
  3. Set your oven to 140ºC.
  4. Rub the skin with oil, then season the scored pork shoulder generously with salt. You can add some garlic and herbs into the nooks and crannies of the meat for more flavour.
  5. Create a trivet of large-cut vegetables and place the pork on top.
  6. Add some stock and maybe a glass of white wine to the dish — this will produce a lovely gravy and help keep moisture in the shoulder joint. 
  7. Put the pork shoulder into the centre of the oven and cook for approximately 5 hours.
  8. Turn up the heat to 230-250ºC and blast for the final 20 minutes, helping create excellent crackling.
  9. Rest for at least an hour, somewhere warm, covered loosely in foil.

Top tips

  • Crushing a tablespoon of toasted fennel seeds and mixing it with sea salt before seasoning the joint is a nice touch.
  • Quarter 2-3 apples and lay them in the bottom of the roasting dish to give your gravy an extra layer of flavour.

What to serve with a rolled pork shoulder

You can enjoy the roasted rolled pork shoulder as a Sunday roast, or after 6 hours of cooking, you will also be able to pull the pork with two forks. In doing so, you open this shoulder up to Mexican-inspired flavours and dishes.

For something a little different, try George Ryle’s Pork shoulder cooked in milk with polenta & crispy sage, which uses a traditional old method for cooking pork.