Twelve Hour Pork Roast

Twelve Hour Pork Roast

one fresh ham butt (or shoulder) 5 to 7 lbs. (mine was 5 1/2 pounds)

3 cloves garlic

3 red chili peppers (or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes)

large sprig of rosemary

1 T. kosher salt

1 T. fennel seed

juice from 1/2 lemon plus the peel

1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)

Score the skin of the ham. Roast for a half hour at 450 degrees F., then lower the temperature to 250 degrees. 

Mix the remaining ingredients (except the chicken broth or water) in a food processor, or a mortar and pestle. Remove the roast from the oven after the first half hour, and rub the herb paste into the meat.  Put it back in the oven at the reduced temperature for another 12 to 16 hours. If you're awake, baste with some of the juices, but it's not necessary. Before going to bed, I covered the pot with a lid.

The next morning, after the a minimum of 12 hours (and no more than 16 or it can get dried out) remove the roast from the oven. Skim off some of the grease in the pan and add some water or chicken broth. Remove the skin to a baking sheet and put the skin back in the oven at 350 degrees for another 1/2 hour. Using a fork, pull the meat from the roast, then strain the sauce from the pan and pour over the meat. Eat as is, or serve in sandwiches, with roasted red peppers, pickled eggplant, cured green tomatoes, or whatever accompaniments you like.