Five-spice Pork Shoulder Recipe

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For our open house this fall, I prepared a five-spice pork shoulder that was a big hit. The recipe was requested and I thought more people might be interested so I am posting it here.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine.

The best thing about this recipe is how it makes the house smell. The fragrant spices are perfect for fall. Because we’re sort of busy around the farm, I adapt most recipes for the crockpot. Pork shoulder, especially, cooks well in the crock pot and eventually falls apart. If you prefer a more elegant presentation where you’d slice the pork, I recommend the original recipe. Our version produces more of a shredded meat that is delicious when served over Jasmine rice with the au jus spooned over top.

Monnett Farms Five-spice Pork Shoulder

Monnett Farms Pork Shoulder Recipe


Dry Ingredients & Spices
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated orange zest

Pork shoulder – Our pork shoulders generally range from 2 to 4lbs and have the bone-in. You will want to thaw the meat, in a refrigerator (takes about 24 hours) and then bring it to room temperature before you start to cook it.

Liquid Ingredients
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup liquid – I usually use apple cider or apple juice. You can also use brandy (as the Food & Wine recipe recommends), chicken broth or even water.

Serving Suggestion
Steamed Jasmine rice

The thing about using a slow cooker is that you basically just get to throw everything together in one pot. There is no specific order to put the ingredients in, but this is generally my order…

1. Combine dry ingredients and rub onto pork shoulder (see note above – meat should be thawed and brought to room temperature first). Place the spice rubbed pork shoulder into the crockpot.

2. Pour liquids into crockpot, pouring some over the meat.

3. Turn crockpot to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Occasionally spoon the liquid over meat to keep it moist.

That’s basically it. The meat will most likely start to fall off the bone, at which point you can shred it and serve over rice or, you can remove the entire roast and serve it on a platter.