In Greek: σπάλα χοιρινή στο φούρνο, say: SPAH-lah hee-ree-NEE stoh FOOR-noh
Pork shoulder roast (spala hoirini in Greek) is an inexpensive cut that can serve up to 10 people. The boned roast (boned by the butcher or you can do it yourself) is coated with a mustard garlic rub then rolled up around pieces of sharp cheese, to serve hot or cold.
The roast can also be made without the cheese.
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 6-7 pound (about 3kg) boned pork shoulder roast (9-10 pounds with bone in)
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of crushed oregano
- 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard
- 1/2 pound (about 250g) Kefalotyri, cut in finger-sized strips (or Pecorino Romano)
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- heavy-duty foil
- kitchen twine
Rinse the boned roast to remove any debris and pat dry. If the butcher has not scored the fat (rind) layer, do it now, in a crisscross pattern.
Mix together garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and mustard, and rub the roast on all sides to coat evenly. Lay pork on a work surface fat (rind) side down and add strips of cheese across the meat. Roll sides of the roast in toward the middle and tie with kitchen twine.
COOKING METHOD #1 - approx. 2 1/2 hours
Peheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Place roast on rack in roasting pan, fat side up. Add water to the pan. Cover pan with foil, sealing to sides, and cook at 350°F (175°C) for about 2 hours. Remove foil and continue to cook for 30 minutes until top is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before removing twine and carving.
COOKING METHOD #2 - about 10 to 12 hours
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
Place roast on rack in roasting pan, fat side up. Add only 2 cups of water to the pan and do not cover. Roast at 450°F (230°C) for about 30 minutes until the rind on top starts to blister. Reduce heat to 250°F (120°C) and cook for about 10 hours until fork tender. After the first few hours of cooking, baste every couple of hours with drippings.
Note: The meat should be extremely tender when tested for doneness. If not quite ready, continue cooking for another 30 minutes and test again; repeat if necessary.
Remove from oven, and let sit 15 minutes before removing twine and carving.
To make crisp crackling: Use a sharp knife to cut off the crackling (rind) from the top of the roast. With a meat shears, cut into small pieces, place on a cookie sheet, and cook at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes. Or, if you enjoy cooking in the fireplace, place crackling pieces in a skillet and cook over the fire.
Slice roast very thinly and served hot or cold. (If planning to serve cold, don't carve until the roast has cooled completely for easier handling.)
Yield: serves 8 to 10
Note about Cheese: This recipe can also be made without the cheese, which can be costly depending on the type. Just rub the roast, top and bottom, roll, and tie. Cook as per directions.