Shredded Pork Shoulder with Star Anise and Cinnamon
By Rochelle Bilow
Although traditional “pulled pork” is slathered in a decadent sauce, I like to eat this as-is. The heady scent of star anise and cinnamon is at once familiar and faraway, rendering it the ultimate winter comfort food. Placing a fried egg on top of this wouldn’t be a bad idea, nor would a simple bowl of rice moistened with sesame oil.
5-6 points of star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 small dried chile pepper
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 2½-3 pound pork shoulder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Salt, to taste
Combine the star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, chile and orange zest together in a spice grinder or clean electric coffee grinder. Process until totally combined and ground.
Place the pork shoulder in a dish and rub all over with first the olive oil and honey, then the spice mixture. Cover and let marinate for one day or at least overnight.
Preheat the oven to 275°. Place an ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil. Season the pork with a liberal shower of salt, then sear until browned. The honey will caramelize a bit; that’s all right.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, and let roast for 5 hours.
Remove from the heat and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using your fingers or two forks, shred apart the meat –it should be very tender. Serve warm.
Rochelle Bilow is a classically trained chef and current staff writer at Bon Appétit. She lives in Brooklyn. Her first book, a farmy memoir about food, cooking and love, titled The Call of the Farm, is now available for purchase.
This recipe originally appeared in our Winter 2013 issue.