This is a show-stopper of a dish. A hulking roast slow-cooking in the oven for several hours will perfume your house with an unbelievable porky aroma. The addition of sweet maple syrup elevates this dish to something special. If you can handle the heat, red pepper flakes add a bite to the maple glaze. The dish requires marinating time.
Makes 12 servings
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 pounds skinless bone-in pork shoulder
2 cups real maple syrup
1 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Mix together salt and sugar and coat the pork. Place the pork in a large roasting pan and allow to cure in the refrigerator for 8 hours or, preferably, overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Meanwhile, put a large pot over medium heat and add syrup, mustard, vinegar and, if using, pepper flakes. Cook on the stovetop until it has reduced by about 1/4. Then take off the heat and set aside until ready to glaze the pork.
When the oven is hot, put the pork roast in the oven on a large roasting pan and let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour. You're looking for some color on the roast, but not burned. Drop the heat down to 350 and let it slowly roast for about 5 hours. The meat will be extremely tender.
When the pork is cooked, take the maple-mustard mixture and liberally spoon over the roast. Keep the pork in the oven for another 20 minutes while the glaze caramelizes over the pork. Remove from the oven and let it rest about 15 minutes. Use a fork and shred the pork onto a platter and serve.