Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

I was talking with my friend Chris about perfect meals for entertaining, and we went though the usual suspects: lasagnas, chili, tenderloins, and then he mentioned to me that his favorite  go-to entertaining dish was a pork butt or shoulder.  We talked about the best way to cook a pork shoulder roast: basically just letting it slow cook in the oven for ages at a very low temperature so  that it practically falls apart.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder Roast

Chris told me that long ago a chef has explained to him that meat likes to be cooked at around the temperature that it reached when it is done.

Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

While I don’t think that is always the case at all (flame kissed steaks and burgers anyone?), it made nice sense when I thought about it in terms of a big tough hunk of meat, like this boneless pork shoulder roast, which needs low and slow cooking to make it turn from impossibly tough to tender.  No amount of trying to rush the process will help, you’ve got to keep the heat low and the time long. 

Pork Butt Roast

You can also make this recipe and others like it with a pork butt roast or Boston Butt pork roast, which are actually also from the shoulder area, a little further up, but essentially a similar cut of meat.  

Slow Cooking Pork

When you slow cook pork shoulder in the oven, boneless or bone-in, you have a lot of flexibility, which is a delightful thing when entertaining.  In fact, the cooking time at this low temp could be stretched by an hour or two, and the roast wouldn’t be any worse for the wear.  So you can literally plunk it on the table whenever everyone is ready to eat. 

And even though this recipe calls for boneless pork shoulder, which is a bit easier to cut, you can use bone-in pork shoulder which will cook in about the same amount of time.

Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

The best part?   This is free time you can spend reading, dancing, sleeping, cleaning a closet, saving kittens from trees.

A super tender slow cooked marinated pork shoulder roast recipe that is amazing on its own, and also can be used in so many ways.

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Low and Slow and Flexible

It bears repeating, because it’s one of the best things about this recipe: you can leave the roast in the very low oven for another hour or two or even three with no repercussions.  

If you feel like it needs a bit more browning or caramelization at the end, turn the heat up to 450°F. for 15 minutes before pulling it out of the oven, and then do make sure to let it rest for a bit so that the fibers can relax a bit, and the juices re-group.

And do know that if all has gone as planned, the meat will be so tender that the slices won’t hold together.  That’s part of the appeal.

Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

What to Serve with Pork Shoulder Roast:

Leftovers are brilliant.  So endlessly useful to make amazing quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, soups, stews, sandwiches, and so on.

Serve Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic with:

Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

Other Pork Recipes:

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Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

A super tender slow cooked marinated pork shoulder or butt roast recipe that is amazing on its own, and also can be used in so many ways. One of my go-to dishes for casual crowd entertaining.
Yield: 12 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 anchovies, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarse Dijon mustard
  • 1 6-pound boneless pork shoulder trimmed of excess fat and tied


  • In a small food processor combine the garlic, anchovies, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and process until it forms a paste, scraping down the sides. Remove the blade and use a fork or spoon to stir in the mustard. Rub the paste all over the pork shoulder, loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and bring the pork to room temperature while the oven heats. Place the pork in a shallow roasting pan and roast, fat side down, for 30 minutes, until the top starts to brown a bit. Turn the heat down to 250°F and continue to cook for 6 to 8 hours until the middle of the roast registers 180°F. on an internal thermometer, and as you slide the thermometer in you can feel that the meat is very tender throughout. If there are juices in the pan (and I have found that sometimes there are and sometimes none) pour off the juices from the pan into a heatproof container, like a Pyrex measuring cup. Place this in the fridge, where the fat will rise to the top, while the meat rests.
  • When the meat is cooked, if you think that the outside of the roast could use a bit more crust/brownness, turn the heat back up to 450°F and let it cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, to give the outside a bit more of a crunchy texture.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for about 20 minutes. Spoon the fat off the reserved juices in the fridge and pour the cooking juices into a serving pitcher or bowl (warm it a bit in the microwave or in a small pot if you like). Slice the pork as thinly or thickly as you like, knowing the meat will fall apart at least slightly. Sprinkle the sliced meat with a bit of salt before serving, and pass the pan juices on the side to drizzle over.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 333.64kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.75g | Protein: 51.55g | Fat: 12.39g | Saturated Fat: 3.09g | Cholesterol: 136.68mg | Sodium: 539.9mg | Potassium: 869.92mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 9.75IU | Vitamin C: 0.49mg | Calcium: 22.27mg | Iron: 2.17mg

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  1. So fabulous! Made just as directed (except I did not have any anchovies). Served for Father’s Day dinner and got rave reviews. Thank you so much. It turned out perfectly!

  2. What do you mean by refrigerate? Is it the 4 degree C or the freezer. Won’t the meat rot if kept at 4 degrees for 24 hours?

    1. Our eyes rolled up into the backs of our heads. This is the second time w this recipe and we needn’t search any further. Husband man says this is the one. Pork butt, fat but no skin, bone in. Who of, I’m SO full. Served w beet greens outta the garden.

  3. I have a prime pork shoulder roast that is about half the size of the one called for in the recipe. I’m wondering how long I should cook it. Thanks so much. The recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it

  4. Hi Katie! I’m very excited to try this recipe. I already have the pork shoulder sitting in the fridge with the paste on it. The only thing is that my pork shoulder is 8 pounds and bone-in. I wanted to know if this changes the cook times at all? Also, I forgot to tie up my pork shoulder and it already has the paste on it. Would it be okay to leave it untied since it’s bone-in? Thank you for the great recipe and I hope to hear back soon!

    1. yes to leaving it untied, and the cooking time should be about the same, but it may need an extra 30-60 minutes! You’ll know it’s done when it falls apart when you stick a fork in it and pull!

  5. I just pulled this out of the oven 20 minutes ago – and it is DELICIOUS! Mine was a little over 7 lbs, bone in, and I roasted it for 7 hours. Made it exactly as directed, but used anchovy paste instead of whole anchovies since that’s what I had. It is perfect!

    1. OMG….it smells amazing. I wish I put it in earlier than noon! Only 4.5 hours in and the smell is so magnificent I must have it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could speed it up!

  6. Cooking it now as per directions s and smells wonderful. Have a large crowd coming for dinner, serving with a Cobb salad and bread. Cannot wait. Thank you for such a easy recipe

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