Pork Shoulder Recipes

The art of cooking is as much about the ingredients as the technique. And when it comes to meat, the quality of the source often determines the meal's overall success. Among the global contenders for top-quality meat, Scotland's red meat industry shines brightly. Specially Selected Pork from Scotland is a testament to the country's commitment to ethically reared, premium quality meat - a distinction achieved through rigorous standards and practices that guarantee whole-chain assurance from farm to fork.

Here, we will delve into the wonders of pork shoulder recipes that celebrate this outstanding Scotch meat. Whether you are a fan of a classic pork shoulder roast or the rich notes of braised pork, we are taking you on a culinary journey that is guaranteed to whet your appetite.

So sharpen your knives, and let's get cooking!

What Makes 'Specially Selected Pork' Special?

At its core, this title embodies an unwavering dedication to producing only the highest quality meat while prioritising environmental stewardship and the compassionate treatment of animals. 'Specially Selected Pork' is a seal of approval, a guarantee that the pork on your plate has been through stringent checks and meets the highest possible standards. This pork is from animals raised with care, provided with optimal living conditions, and fed with nutritious diets.

1. Ethically Reared:

Scotland takes pride in its ethical approach to rearing animals. Ethically reared means the animals are treated with the utmost respect, have access to open spaces and are not subjected to unnecessary stress. Regular inspections ensure that these standards are maintained, and any farm not meeting the criteria is not allowed to use the 'Specially Selected Pork' label.

2. Whole Chain Assurance from Farm to Fork:

One of the unique aspects of Scotland's red meat industry is its comprehensive oversight of the entire production process. This isn't limited to just the rearing and slaughtering of the animals; it also encompasses everything from the feed given to the animals to the transportation practices, ensuring the highest quality every step of the way. Consumers can be confident that they are not just getting ethically produced meat but also pork that has been handled with care throughout its journey.

3. Commitment to Sustainability:

When you choose Specially Selected Pork from Scotland, you are making a choice that supports ethical farming practices, prioritises animal welfare, emphasises environmental stewardship and guarantees first-class quality. It is not merely about flavour and gastronomic superiority; it is a stand for responsible consumption, sustainability and a harmonious balance with nature. It is a pledge that as consumers, we value the journey as much as the end product.


From braised pork shoulder to slow cooked pulled pork tacos, to creamy pork loin and pork shoulder roast with crispy crackling, we have all the recipes on our website.


The Versatility of Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder, often referred to as the crown jewel among pork cuts, is celebrated for its depth of flavour, succulent meat and adaptability in various culinary creations. It is a cut that is equally cherished by home cooks and seasoned chefs alike, mostly due to its forgiving nature and unparalleled taste.

1. Nature of the Cut:

Situated on the upper part of the pig's front leg, pork shoulder is a mix of lean meat and marbled fat. This blend is what gives it a rich taste and tenderness, beautifully lending itself to various dishes. Its robust structure means it holds up exceptionally well to prolonged cooking methods without losing its texture or succulence.

2. Bone-In vs. Boneless Pork Shoulder:

Both variations of pork shoulder come with their own set of benefits. Bone-in shoulder often imparts a deeper flavour to dishes, especially when roasted, as the bone helps retain the meat's moisture and adds a robust depth to the dish. On the other hand, boneless pork shoulder is often more versatile, easier to slice, and can be used in myriad recipes, from pulled pork sandwiches to curries and stews.

3. Cooking Methods:

The real charm of pork shoulder is how it gracefully adapts to different cooking techniques:

  • Roasting: An oven-roasted pork shoulder, when cooked low and slow, yields a crispy pork crackling and a tender, flavourful inside. It is a classic method that celebrates the meat's natural flavours with simplicity.
  • Braising: Immersed in a flavourful broth or gravy and cooked slowly, braised pork shoulder absorbs the flavours while ensuring a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
  • BBQuing: Though less common, BBQ pork shoulder steaks, especially when marinated well, offer a delightful smoky taste.
  • Slow Cooking: Perfect for pulled pork, the slow cooker breaks down the meat over several hours, leading to a rich and succulent dish.


Can you master the perfect crispy crackling on your Sunday roast pork?


The Difference Between Braising and Slowcooking

Braising and slow cooking are both methods used to tenderise and cook tougher cuts of meat like pork shoulder over extended periods. However, they have distinct procedures and often employ different cooking appliances. Here's a breakdown of their differences:


  • Method: Braising is a two-step cooking process that involves (1) searing or browning the meat at a high temperature and then (2) cooking it covered at a lower temperature in a small amount of liquid, such as broth, wine or water.
  • Cookware: Braising is usually done in heavy pots or Dutch ovens, either on a stovetop or oven.
  • Liquid: In braising, the meat isn't submerged completely in the liquid. Typically, the liquid will come up about halfway to the meat. As the meat cooks, it releases its juices, which mix with the braising liquid to create a rich sauce.
  • Result: The high initial heat from the searing locks in the flavours and gives the meat a caramelised exterior. The following low and slow cooking in liquid ensures the meat becomes tender and infused with the flavours of the braising liquid.

Slow Cooking:

  • Method: Slow cooking is a method where food is cooked at a consistently low temperature for an extended period. It doesn’t typically require preliminary browning, although some people do brown their meat before placing it in a slow cooker for added flavour.
  • Cookware: Slow cooking is typically done in electric slow cookers or crockpots. These devices maintain a steady low temperature over several hours.
  • Liquid: In slow cooking, the meat often sits in more liquid than in braising. Depending on the recipe, the meat might be entirely submerged.
  • Result: Slow cookers tenderise the meat over several hours, resulting in an extremely tender pork shoulder. The flavours of slow-cooked pork meld over the long cooking process, and the meat usually becomes so tender that it can be easily shredded.


Whether you prefer to slow roast your pork shoulder in the oven to achieve perfect crackling, or you favour slow cooking your meat in apple juice or wine, choosing quality Scotch meat is the key to cooking success.


While both braising and slow cooking aim to tenderise tough cuts of meat and infuse them with flavour, the methods and tools they use differ. The choice between them often comes down to the specific recipe you are following, the equipment you have on hand and personal preference.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder?

Perfecting a pork shoulder dish is a culmination of selecting the right cut, prepping it adequately and cooking it with confidence. Here are some essential tips to ensure that your pork shoulder is nothing short of sublime every time!

Top Tips for Achieving the Perfect Pork Shoulder

  1. Source Quality Meat: Buy the best meat you can afford. Ethically reared, high-quality produce sets the foundation for an outstanding dish.
  2. Room Temperature Start: Before cooking, allow your pork shoulder to sit out and reach room temperature. This ensures even cooking and better searing.
  3. Season Generously: Due to its size and density, pork shoulder benefits from generous seasoning. Salt it well in advance, if possible, or rub it with dry marinades, allowing deeper flavour penetration.
  4. Sear Before Slow Cooking: Even if you are using a slow cooker, consider searing the pork shoulder first. This step caramelises the meat's exterior, adding a depth of flavour that simply slow cooking alone might miss.
  5. Low and Slow is the Key: Whether you are roasting, braising or slow cooking, maintaining a consistent low temperature over an extended period is vital. This approach breaks down the connective tissues in the meat, rendering it tender and juicy.
  6. Mind the Liquid: If you are braising, ensure the liquid reaches about halfway up the meat. In slow cooking, make sure the meat is adequately submerged or surrounded by the liquid to prevent drying out.
  7. Let it Rest: After cooking, allow your pork shoulder to rest before serving or shredding. This step lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring every bite is moist and flavourful.
  8. Skim the Fat: Pork shoulder can release a significant amount of fat during cooking. If you are aiming for a clearer sauce or gravy, consider skimming off the excess fat before serving.
  9. Pair Thoughtfully: A well-cooked pork shoulder is rich and flavourful. Balance your meal by pairing it with lighter, acidic or crunchy sides, like coleslaw, pickled vegetables, apple sauce or a fresh salad.
  10. Experiment with Marinades and Rubs: From spicy chipotle rubs to sweet and tangy marinades, pork shoulder embraces various flavour profiles. Don't hesitate to experiment and find your signature touch!


Our delicious pork shoulder recipes are guaranteed to wow your guests every time.


By embracing these tips and maintaining a meticulous approach to cooking, your pork shoulder dish will not only highlight the meat's natural flavours but will also showcase your culinary prowess.

The Global Appeal of Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder, with its tender meat and unique flavour profile, effortlessly finds its place in a variety of global cuisines. Its adaptability shines across numerous dishes, proving that whether East or West, pork shoulder is a beloved culinary star.

  1. Classic British Roast: Pork shoulder roasted to perfection with a crispy crackling is an essential of British Sunday lunches. Paired with apple sauce, roasted vegetables and gravy, it's a feast fit for kings!
  2. American Pulled Pork: Slow-cooked to achieve a tender, fall-apart tender consistency, pulled pork is often smothered in tangy barbecue sauce and served on soft buns with coleslaw. It is a firm staple of Southern American barbecues.
  3. Asian Ramen: In Japan, slow-cooked pork shoulder slices, or 'Chashu', are a favoured topping in ramen bowls. Paired with a rich chicken broth, noodles, and toppings like seaweed and boiled eggs, it's true comfort in a bowl.
  4. Chinese Char Siu: A Cantonese favourite, pork shoulder is marinated in a mix of honey, five-spice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce then roasted until caramelised. It is often served with rice or noodles.
  5. Mexican Carnitas: Pork shoulder is simmered in lard until incredibly tender and then roasted until crispy. It is shredded and used as fillings for tacos, burritos and tamales.
  6. Italian Porchetta: A festive dish where pork shoulder is seasoned with aromatic herbs like rosemary, fennel seeds and garlic, then rolled and roasted until the skin is crispy.
  7. Korean Pork Bulgogi: Thin slices of pork shoulder are marinated in a mix of soy sauce, pear and spices, then grilled or pan-fried. It is commonly wrapped in lettuce leaves with a dab of spicy kimchi.
  8. Filipino Adobo: Pork shoulder chunks are simmered in a tangy mix of soy sauce, vinegar and garlic, then fried to a crisp. It is a comforting dish served with steamed rice.
  9. Cuban Mojo Pork: Marinated in a zesty mix of orange juice, lime juice, garlic and spices, the pork shoulder is slow-roasted and then shredded. It is commonly found in Cuban sandwiches or served with black beans and rice.
  10. Indian Pork Vindaloo: A spicy and tangy curry from the coastal region of Goa, where pork shoulder pieces are simmered in a fiery mix of chilies, vinegar and aromatic spices.


Specially Selected Pork is the jewel in the crown of the Scottish red meat industry. Scotch meat is favoured the world over for its outstanding quality and depth of flavour.


The global appeal of pork shoulder is undeniable. From perfect pork crackling to stews, sandwiches to curries, it is a culinary star that is favoured across many continents. Whether you are exploring world cuisines or simply craving comfort food, pork shoulder delivers every time and we have the perfect pork shoulder recipes for you.

Where Can I Find Specially Selected Pork Near Me?

We know how important it is to have access to locally sourced, high-quality ingredients so we have made finding Specially Selected Pork in your area a breeze.

We have created a user-friendly interactive map, which pinpoints your nearest premium Scotch meat butcher or supplier. Whether you are cooking a midweek meal or planning the perfect Sunday roast, this handy tool ensures that the best produce is only a few clicks away.

Simply enter your location, and the map will guide you to your nearest suppliers.

Supporting Scottish Farmers

By choosing Specially Selected Pork, you are not only enjoying premium Scottish produce but you are also supporting our local farmers, and championing their unrelenting dedication to Scotland's rich agricultural heritage and their commitment to the animals' whole-of-life care.

So, try out our map today and indulge in the best quality Scotch meat in your area.

What's The Scotch Difference?

Let us take you on a journey into what makes Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork so special, and how we produce such high-quality meat renowned and enjoyed worldwide.