This is a great cold weather go-to recipe…and if there’s a week to make it…IT’S THIS WEEK! I’ve made this recipe a couple times and it’s so easy, I can’t believe we haven’t shared it here before. As always…I rarely change adjust ANY thing in an Ina Garten recipe. They really are fool proof…which is why we love Ina. This Slow-Roasted Spiced Pork appears in a couple of her books…I found the recipe in her “Make It Ahead” cookbook from 2014.
Ina’s introduction: This has become my favorite dish for winter entertaining. I rub the pork with the seasoning mixture in advance and then just throw it in the oven to roast for 6 to 7 hours before dinner. My favorite accompaniments are Maple Baked Beans and Winter Slaw.
Just an aside: whenever I’ve made this I’ve had quite a bit of the spicy paste/rub left over even though I didn’t skimp on it. Don’t throw what’s left over out. This pork butt cut of meat is what you make pulled pork out of and this recipe leaves you with fall-apart meat that’s just asking to be “pulled”. I shred it up in a pan or pot with a couple forks and then add that leftover rub/paste, some smoked paprika, my favorite BBQ sauce, some soy sauce, some chopped up onions, maybe a little beer…or anything else that sounds good to you. You want it moist and juicy. Heat it through and serve on a hamburger bun or not. Add some cole slaw and baked beans and you’ve got a whole other meal happening.
(Serves 8 to 10)
- 1 (7- to 9-pound) bone-in pork butt with a layer of fat on top
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs removed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves (*I added some cilantro leaves too)
- 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 (750 ml) bottle dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- Limes wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Test your oven with an oven thermometer to be sure it’s accurate.
Score the fat on the pork diagonally with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern. With a small paring knife, make a dozen ½-inch-deep cuts in the top and sides of the pork to allow the seasonings to permeate the meat.
Place the garlic, onion, jalapeño, and oregano in a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the cumin, chile powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and process for 30 seconds to make a paste. Add the vinegar and olive oil and process to incorporate. Rub the mixture all over the pork, including the sides and the bottom,** and place the pork in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Pour 2 cups of the wine into the pan and cover the whole roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil (Note: even if you have lid for your roasting pan…use the foil instead). Roast for 2½ hours, remove the foil, and roast for another 4 to 4½ hours, until the meat is very, very tender when tested with a carving fork. Every 2 hours, add another cup of wine to keep some liquid in the pan (if needed).
Remove the pan from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow the meat to rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Slice, sprinkle with salt, and serve with lime wedges on the side.
**If you’re going to MAKE IT AHEAD: Make the paste, rub all over the pork, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Roast before dinner.** I like making it the night before and wrapping in cling wrap so the paste really gets into and flavors the meat.