We procured Sean Brock’s Heritage cookbook after hearing many wonderful things from various food-wise sources (and enjoying eating at both Husk and McCrady’s on our anniversary trip to Charleston, South Carolina in 2013). The weather in Williamsburg this week was very cold (verging on bitter), so that, combined with us having the second half of a six pound pork shoulder thawing out in our fridge, meant that having something slow roasted sounded like a great option for a weekend meal with friends.

We didn’t tweak a thing for the pork recipe aside from the cooking time as the original recipe calls for a six pound bone-in pork shoulder and we had a three pound boneless shoulder. We put the meat in at 8:30am and after four hours or so checked it every hour to see if it was pulling apart tender yet. By the time we were ready to eat at 5:30pm the meat was perfectly tender and only needed gentle pulling apart to portion it out. I think our piece of pork has less fat than usual as we didn’t end up with any juices to baste with and make the glaze, but things still turned out very juicy and tender (and I loved the crunchy, spicy exterior).

For the tomato gravy we had all of the ingredients in the pantry however we did not have fine white cornmeal so we substituted the yellow corn grits we did have and spun them through the food processor first to get a finer grind. As the cornmeal was toasting it smelled like bacon flavored popcorn, yum (note to self, need to try popping popcorn in bacon fat). Even though the gravy is super simple (just bacon fat, cornmeal, San Marzano tomatoes, salt and pepper) it really did pair well with the pork and was quite tasty on its own as well.

This was the first time we’ve cooked out of Heritage, but after the success of the dishes tonight, certainly won’t be the last.

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Meat, Entree
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (also called butt; about 6 pounds), skin removed
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F. Place a rack in a roasting pan.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, and paprika in a small bowl and blend well.
  3. Using a brush, paint the top only of the pork with the mustard.
  4. Pat on the seaoning mixture.
  5. Place the pork on the rack in the pan and roast, uncovered, for about 14 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling apart; baste it occasionally with the pan juices during the last hour to make a glaze.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a platter, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Reserve the juices in the roasting pan, skimming off any fat from the top as the pork rests.
Recipe from Sean Brock's Heritage cookbook Copyright 2014