Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw

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So I came up with this recipe one night when we had some friends come over and convinced them to stay for dinner.  We were already three hours into making a pork shoulder but hadn’t decided what else to go with it.  I looked around the kitchen as I usually do to see what we need and I found a fennel bulb and thought, medical hmmmmmm what can I do with this?  I was already making and Asian inspired pork shoulder, for sale   Why not continue that theme with a fennel coleslaw?  So here is the recipe for both!!!

Asian Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw
Recipe type: Main and Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup dark agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • SLAW
  • 1 medium to large fennel bulb
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¼ quarter of red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ¼ tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Score shoulder
  2. Smash garlic and place cloves in scored pork
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place shoulder in plastic bag
  5. Add marinade
  6. Refrigerate from 6 hours to 24 hours
  7. When done marinating preheat oven to 400
  8. Place shoulder and marinade in roasting pan
  9. Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil
  10. After 30 minutes lower heat to 300
  11. Cook for 4 hours
  12. Take off parchment and foil
  13. Cook for another 20-30 minutes for crispy skin
  14. Check with meat thermometer, should read 185 degrees when done.
  15. Remove from oven cover with foil again and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
  17. Julienne fennel bulb, carrot and red pepper.
  18. Chop onion
  19. Toss in bowl
  20. Mix dressing and pour over slaw
  21. Toss slaw to coat with dressing
  22. Salt and pepper to taste
  23. Serve immediately at room temperature.
Cooking time and temp varies with each oven. Keep an eye on your roast and baste the shoulder with juices. I like to check and baste every 30minutes or so. You don't want a dry shoulder. Dressing for slaw - taste and add more fish sauce or vinegar for your preference. Prep time does not include marinading time. If it's already too hot for you to have the oven on for 5-6 hours then use a crock pot for the roast. Just cut the fat off and pierce the meat then put the garlic cloves in the holes before you marinade. Also since you've cut off the fat, keep a good eye on it so it doesn't get dry. Cook on low for about 4-6 hours. You will know when it's done, it should fall off the bone.


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This wonderful heartwarming dish is the anchor in our comfort food week.  Originally from Mexico, adiposity in an area called Valley of Mexico, salve the practice of rolling meat(usually fish) in tortillas dates back to the Mayans.  But it was Hernan Cortes from Coyoacan who first shared this with Spanish Conquistadors, who gave the rolled maize it’s name, Tortilla.   The definition of enchilada is “a rolled maize tortilla stuffed with meat and covered in a tomato chile sauce”, according to the Real Academia Espanola.  Sound familiar?  Not much has changed.  For a while it was street food and consisted of tortillas dipped in chile sauce, not quite the same thing if you ask me.  To me making enchiladas is another family moment of  coming together sharing knowledge and enjoying a meal.   My dad would cook the chicken, and when it cooled we would tear the meat off it’s bones.  As a kid that was the fun part.  We would then grate the cheese and  chop the onions.   Eventually combining these with chopped black olives, to make the inside of our enchiladas.  We would then heat up the tortillas in oil and dip theme in sauce, fill with chicken mixture, roll them up, put them in the baking pan and wait for the goodness to cook.   I still make them the same way except the oil part.  Now I microwave the tortillas, it’s much quicker and makes for easier cleanup and added bonus, less fat.  Pair them with beans and rice and you have the makings of one of my all time favorite comfort foods.