The Best Brined Pork Roast

The Best Brined Pork Roast


By Rodney Bowers


Serves 10

For the brine
1 small bone-in pork shoulder (approx. 10-12 lb.)
1 small garbage bag or large vessel that will fit into your fridge
2 cups fair trade raw cane sugar
1 1/2 cups salt
2 heads garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh rosemary

  1. Combine salt and sugar in about 3 L of water or enough to cover the meat.
  2. Smash the garlic and herbs to release their oils then add to the brine.
  3. Place pork into brine in chosen vessel and let stand in a fridge for 12 hours.
  4. Remove pork and pat dry. Discard brine. Reserve garlic and herbs to place underneath pork while roasting.

For the roast
1 brined shoulder
4 Honeycrisp apples, diced and spritzed with juice from half a lemon
3 large sweet onions, diced in chunks
1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
3 heads garlic, halved
1 cup apple cider gastrique

  1. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  2. Score fat on roast in a cross-hatch pattern and place meat in the middle of a large roasting tray. Roast for 25 minutes, flip and roast for another 25 minutes.
  3. While pork is in oven, chop onion and apples and prepare herbs and garlic.
  4. Remove pork from oven. Using oven mitts, set meat aside, out of the pan. Quickly pour off almost all the fat that has rendered off the shoulder. Add remaining ingredients to roasting pan.
  5. Place pork on top of apple-onion mixture and pop pan back in oven for another 45 minutes.
  6. Pour gastrique over pork, getting in every nook and cranny. Return to oven for another 7 minutes.
  7. Remove pork from oven and cover with tinfoil. Allow meat to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with roasted apples and onions and your favourite sides or on a crusty bun with Rodney's Thai-inspired slaw.

Apple Cider Gastrique

3 cups apple cider
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
3 tbsp of salt

Add all ingredients to a pot and heat until reduced to 1 cup or it coats the back of a spoon.