Old-Fashioned Pork Roast

Total Time
Prep 12 hrs
Cook 8 hrs

From "Cook's Country by America's Test Kitchen," episode 105, "Autumn Supper." Boston butt is preferred for this long, slow cooking because of the fat content.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Tie the roast 3-4 times crosswise, and once lengthwise.
  2. In a bowl, combine garlic, pepper, salt, rosemary, sage and fennel seeds. Rub this mixture well into all surfaces of roast.
  3. Place meat in a roasting pan. Place pan, uncovered, in preheated 300°F oven for about 3 hours.
  4. Add onion to pan around the meat. If there is not much fat in the pan, add the optional oil. Return pan to oven for 3½-4 hours more.
  5. Transfer meat to a dish. Transfer onions to a bowl. Pour drippings into a 2-cup measure. Add water to bring up to 1½ cups. When meat has cooled to room temperature, wrap meat and onions with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight along with drippings.
  6. Remove fat from cold drippings and place in a saucepan with onions, cider, apple jelly and cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Slice cold roast, and layer in baking dish. Pour ½ cup of drippings over pork. Cover dish with foil, and place in a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes until hot.
  8. Bring drippings up to a boil and reduce for 15 minutes until dark, thick and syrupy.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes on the side. Pour sauce over the meat.
Most Helpful

This deserves more than 5 stars, just follow the directions as tying the roast and the long, slow cooking time are really important.We only had dried spices so used them, in 1/2 the amount, and it tasted wonderful. We also opted out of the final glaze/sauce but that's just us. Have also found that the pieces freeze and reheat well and taste the same as if coming right from the oven.Have served this to company and have had to copy recipe to send home with them. Thanks Dr. G. for reminding us about this and a special thanks to Cook's Country for developing and sharing this recipe. I used to walk past pork butts, thinking they were too fatty, not any longer. Now I look for them to be on sale!

pam w. May 02, 2014

This roast pork has been at the top of our "go to" list since it first appeared on the show - we LOVE it! We've served to to company, and I recommend the recipe every time I'm asked for a suggestion for a pork shoulder.

We always use a bigger roast than called for, and we usually serve it with a veggie mash of potatoes, fennel, and celeriac - with the sauce, the whole meal is lick-your-plate delicious. (Yes, I caught my husband doing that once.) The pork is well-seasoned and tender, and the sauce is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the cider and a bright splash of acidity from the vinegar. I've also used apple juice in place of the cider in a pinch, and we often season the meat the day before cooking.

Well worth the time and (minimal) effort - thanks, Dr. G. for posting!

KrisLady February 27, 2013

I pretty much followed the recipe except for longer cooking time, apx 9 hours @ 250 degrees and no fennel seeds. I don't have anything against fennel seeds, just didn't find them in the pantry. Also I didn't make mashed potatoes though, just stuck some whole potatoes in during the end, with some carrots. The carrots came out full of flavor, the potatoes were ok, noit great. I think I'll probably make mashed potatoes next time per DrGalleon's suggestion. The meat was tender and flavorful. But the drippings at the end were way, way too sweet. I'll cut far back on the apple jelly next time.

LIKES 2 BAKE May 05, 2011