Burnt Honey and Paprika Braised Pork Shoulder


This recipe requires time. Rubbing the meat with the spice/salt mixture and allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat. Allowing the meat to rest overnight in the braising liquid blooms the flavors. Much like how soup is better the day after it is made—same idea here. Both of these steps can be skipped if needed be but don’t you dare skip burning the honey on top. The bitter flavor tempers the sweetness of the honey and adds depth to the already smoky flavors of the paprika and cayenne. The only other word of advice I have is be careful for whom you make this. I made it for Erik in the first six months of dating. We’ve been together for eleven years and he still routinely asks for it for dinner parties.

  • 5-7 lbs pork shoulder bone in or out but if with the bone allow for more weight
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ C salt
  • 2 onions
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 C white wine
  • 2-3 C water or stock
  • plenty of honey
  1. Tie or ask your butcher to tie the roast together if it is various pieces.
  2. Mix the spices and salt together, feeling free to bump the volume and save extra for the next time around.
  3. Rub the pork shoulder with the spice mixture and let rest overnight
  4. The next day: heat the oven to 300F
  5. Cut the onions and garlic roughly
  6. Heat a glug of neutral oil and brown the outside of the pork shoulder
  7. Place the onions, garlic and herbs in the bottom of a roasting pan with a tight fitting lid
  8. Place the well-browned pork shoulder on top of the onions mixture
  9. Deglaze the frying pan with the white wine and allow to reduce
  10. Add the wine reduction to the roasting pan
  11. Add the water/stock to the same pan
  12. Cover with a lid (if it isn’t tight place a layer of tin foil over the pork and then add the lid)
  13. Cook until the pork easily pulls with a fork (approx. 4-8 hours)
  14. Allow the pork to cool and rest in the cooking liquid overnight
  15. The next day remove any solidified fat from the top of the cooking liquid
  16. Lift the pork from pan and transfer to an oven proof serving platter
  17. Warm the cooking liquid to loosen then strain out the onion, garlic and herbs
  18. Return the strained liquid to a pan and reduce until very flavorful and a slightly thickened texture
  19. Cut the strings from the pork shoulder if used
  20. Turn the oven to broil
  21. Slather the pork with a liberal amount of honey
  22. Place under the broiler (or use a kitchen or blow torch if you have one) and allow the honey to burn creating a dark craggily crust (don’t be surprised if this step is a bit smoky)
  23. Serve with potatoes, grits or rice and the braising gravy on the side

This recipe is featured in the post: