Slow Roasted Pork Picnic Shoulder

Slow Roasted Fresh Picnic Shoulder
Photo: Diana Rattray
Ratings (47)
  • Total: 6 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 Pork Shoulder (8-10 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
914 Calories
53g Fat
8g Carbs
95g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The picnic comes from the lower part of the shoulder and includes part of the arm bone, where the butt is the upper portion of the shoulder. The picnic shoulder includes the skin (crackling), which is delicious when cooked until crispy.  

We like to leave the skin on, but you can trim the skin off and roast the cracklings separately as well. 

It seems like a lot of meat, but the leftovers can be used in a number of dishes, including pulled pork sandwiches, mini quiches, empanadas, and more.


  • 1 pork picnic shoulder with skin, about 6 to 8 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 medium onion, cut in chunks
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 to 4 bay leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 450 F (230 C/Gas 8).

  2. Pat the roast dry. With a very sharp knife or razor, score the skin, through skin and fat, but not into the meat. Space the slits about 1/2 inch apart.

  3. Rub a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper over the pork, rubbing it into the slits.

  4. Place the pork in a large roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.

  5. Cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil, reduce the heat to 325 F (165 C/Gas 3).

  6. Return the roast to the oven and roast for 4 hours.

  7. Remove the foil and pour off all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves to the pan, lifting the roast slightly to position some of the vegetables under it. Or, carefully lift the roast out, add the vegetables to the pan, then return the roast to the pan. This could be a challenge if the pork is beginning to fall apart.

  8. Return to the oven and continue roasting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer, until the meat is very tender and the skin is crispy.

  9. Serve the pork with potatoes and vegetables as a main dish or use it for sandwiches. Serves 8 to 10.