Preparing Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder

Two variations on preparing pork shoulder for pulled pork. The brine is based on a Thomas Keller recipe.


3kg pork shoulder on the bone

2 litres water
12 bay leaves (dry)
1/2 cup sage leaves (dry)
2 tbsp thyme leaves (dry)
4 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 whole head of garlic, skin on, crushed
2 tbsp black peppercorns
140g plain salt

Bring brine ingredients to the boil, cook for 1 minute, then take off heat and allow to cool in pot. Once merely warm, transfer to non-reactive container and chill overnight in fridge. Once chilled, add pork shoulder to the brine and refrigerate for 6-7 hours.


1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp white pepper corns
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 large garlic cloves, sliced finely
2 tbsp olive oil

Lightly crush whole spices and combine with other ingredients before massaging into pork shoulder. Leave to marinate overnight.