Slow-Roasted Lemon-Soy-Honey Pork Shoulder

This impressive main dish is easy to prep, but boasts big flavor thanks to the Asian-inspired marinade.

The Modern Potluck

A bone-in pork shoulder (also known as a pork butt) is so big and cooks for so long that it holds its heat for at least an hour after cooking. This recipe is inspired by pernil, a Puerto Rican roast pork, but the lemon-soy-honey glaze gives this an Asian flavor.

Serves 12 to 20
Prep time: 30 minutes plus time to marinate and return to room temperature
Cook time: Six to seven hours


  • 1 bone-in pork butt (8- to 9-lb.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs. kosher salt
  • 3 tbs. low-sodium soy sauce (tamari is a good gluten-free alternative)
  • 2 tbs. olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbs. honey


Arrange the pork in an enamel, glass, clay, or stainless-steel baking dish, fat-side up. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the fat in a crosshatch pattern.

In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and orange juice with the garlic, salt, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and the oil until the salt dissolves. Pour the marinade over the pork and rub it into the meat.

Refrigerate 24 to 36 hours, turning the pork a few times. Bring the pork to room temperature for one to two hours, and then preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Wipe marinade and garlic bits off the pork and discard any excess marinade. Set the pork in a roasting pan fat-side up.

Roast for three hours; use a spoon to baste the pork with its juices. Roast for another three to four hours, basting every hour or so, until the pork pulls apart easily and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers at least 180 degrees F.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the honey with the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and brush it all over the pork. Roast for about five minutes. Brush the pork again and roast for five to seven more minutes, until the fat is deeply browned and crisp.

Let the roast stand for 30 minutes before serving, covered loosely with foil. Slice or use tongs to pull the meat to serve.

Recipes reprinted from Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share. Copyright © 2016 by Kristin Donnelly. Photography copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi. Published by Clarkson Potter / Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

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