French Bone-In Pork Shoulder Roast

French Bone-In Pork Shoulder Roast

I was just sitting down with my good friends, Cara and Shawn Slaubaugh of Wild Farm who provide the pasture raised pork and chicken to our CSA program, about how much my point of view on eating locally raised meat has changed. When we first moved to Iowa, we spent the first few weeks living so near to the country exploring the many shops and farms in what is locally known as “Amish Country.” We lived in town the first two years of being in Iowa, though our community is still largely based in the country. Town is literally a few intersecting streets with sidewalks and houses close enough to be considered a neighborhood. I loved living in town!

Amish Country, on the other hand, was foreign territory to me. I had never truly been deep into the country where the roads were made of gravel or dirt, where there was hardly any cell reception, where you got by on a weekly basis with help from your neighbors and local businesses, where you knew everyone who lived around you for that very purpose. Living in town, though heavily populated, can isolate you in ways! It’s an odd contradiction.

One of the first Amish shops that we ever visited was a small country store with a freezer located in the back corner. The front of the freezer had a sheet of paper taped to the front that listed all of the different types of meat inside. Of course, I assumed that it was a fridge and opened it up to find rock solid cuts of pork and beef. Buying meat frozen, especially cuts like bacon, sausage, and fresh roasts was not something I was used to. We soon learned that most everyone we are friends with only keeps frozen meat in their home. Why? Well, that’s how it comes to you after processing around here. I am not sure if this is the same in other parts of the country, but here in southeast Iowa every farmer I know has a freezer full of locally raised and processed meat. We’ve bought two deep freezers in the last year to keep up with our own supply of meat! And you know what? I absolutely love it. I love being able to wander into the basement every week or so and pull out what I want to make that week. It’s kind of like grocery shopping in your home. Right now we have a lot of pork and whole chickens from Wild Farm that are still from last year’s CSA. It’s been nice to take our time eating it so that we may save it for special occasions.

Ingredients + Recipe |

  • 5 lb pork shoulder roast

  • 2 tbsp sage

  • 2 tbsp thyme

  • 2 tbsp rosemary, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tbsp pepper

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small green top onion, finely diced

  • 1 tbsp ground mustard

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

  • 1 cup apple butter (or sauce)

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 4 tbsp dry white wine

  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp butter

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil and form a thick paste. With a brush, rub down the entirety of the roast with the herb paste.

  2. Let the roast sit unrefrigerated for an hour to warm and soak in the flavors of the herbs and spices. Place it in a shallow roasting pan coated with a layer of olive oil while you wait.

  3. Preheat the oven to 250. Place the roast on a roasting rack inside of the roasting pan. Cook for 5-6 hours, depending on the size of your roast. 

  4. Remove from the oven and let rest while you preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the roast back in the oven once it finishes preheating and rotate every 5 minutes. This will cause the skin to crisp.

  5. Once crisped to your liking, remove from the oven.

  6. Remove the rack with the roast and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the roasting pan with the rendered pork fat in the bottom over a stovetop burner. Heat over medium heat and cook the onion. Add the ground mustard and ginger and continue to cook. Deglaze the pan with the apple butter, vinegar, and white wine. Add the cream and reduce the mixture over medium/low heat. Melt in the butter.

  7. Once ready to serve the roast, top with the gravy and serve alongside roasted veggies.

Wild Farm’s shoulder roast is one of my favorite cuts off of their hogs! Their meat roasts up so tenderly and is full of flavor and delicious juices. I can never go back to meat bought at the grocery. While I was talking with Cara and Shawn we made mention that grocery store meat, sold raw, kind of grosses us out now! I also can’t speak enough about how much I love pastured meats.

Winter is the time of year to clean out the freezer and fill our bellies before the upcoming season of growing begins!

xoxo Kayla

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