Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

Recipes --> Main Courses --> Roasted Pork Shoulder with Savory Apple Gravy

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Savory Apple Gravy

This was outstanding...lots of flavor and savory goodness. It goes together quite easily and is a nice change from BBQ sauced pulled pork. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6


4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, sinew and excess fat (beyond 1/4 inch) trimmed
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons packed, fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, lightly chopped 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning olive oil
4 medium, good cooking apples, such as Fuji or Jonagold
2 medium yellow onions
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper


Put the fennel seeds, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary, garlic and 2 teaspoons salt into a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind to a paste. Alternatively, you can pound the mixture with a mortar and pestle. Put the mixture into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Rub the mixture evenly all over the pork shoulder. If the roast is tied, untie it to rub the inside with the spice mixture as well, and then retie it. Wrap the roast tightly in plastic wrap to hold the rub against the skin and marinate overnight (or up to two days).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each apple half into about 4 wedges. Peel the onions. Cut in half from tip to root. Trim the root and tip. Cut each onion half into about 6 thin wedges. Put the onions and the apples together in a bowl and toss to mix. Toss the apples and onions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Place the apples and onions in the bottom of a roasting pan or Dutch oven with a cover.

Place the marinated pork shoulder on top of the apples and onions. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to 325 degrees and add the wine. Cover the roasting pan and slow roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the pork shoulder is falling apart tender and pulls apart easily when probed with a fork. Transfer the pork shoulder to a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Pour the cooking liquid into a defatting cup or a bowl so you can remove the fat. Return to apples and onions. Put the apples and onions into a blender or use a stick blender. Add the mustard and purée. Check the texture, and add wine if needed until you get the desired thickness for the gravy. Check the seasoning and correct to taste.

Note: Count on having left overs. This freezes well.

I didn’t need to add more wine when pureeing. In fact, I reserved some of the defatted juice to freeze with the meat.

If you’re anal about things, you can press the pureed sauce through a sieve “for silky smooth textured gravy” as the original recipe called for. I didn’t.

(Recipe adapted by Tom Landshof from