All day and night, crispy-skinned pork cooked, appropriately, in Hog’s Back beer.

Goes very well with spicy aubergine. 3½ kg is very generous for eight, but you really want lots of leftovers. It’s excellent as a lunch the following day with cold spicy aubergine and aioli.


For eight


  • 3½ kg/8 lbs pork shoulder on the bone and with the skin still on
  • 3 tbsp fennel seeds, dry fried
  • 1 head of garlic, all cloves crushed with 3 tbsp smoked salt
  • 3 tbsp smoked salt
  • 120 ml/½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teasp cayenne pepper
  • 12 grinds of Indonesian long black pepper
  • 180 ml good quality, dark maple syrup
  • 1 bottle Hogs Back – Gardeners’ Tipple
  • 2 teasp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C – use aga top right
  2. Score the skin with a sharp knife a couple of centimetres (half an inch) apart
  3. Crush the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar
  4. Add the crushed garlic
  5. Slowly whisk in (cappuccino whisk is good for this) the oil and the two peppers – this paste can be made well ahead
  6. Divide the paste one third/two thirds
  7. smear a third of the paste over the side of the joint without the skin, put it skin-side down in the roasting tin and roast for half an hour
  8. add the maple syrup and the vinegar to the rest of the paste
  9. turn the shoulder over using a pair of lifting forks
  10. when it’s cool, push the remaining paste into the slits you’ve made into the skin
  11. either turn the oven down to 100°C or use the bottom left, warming oven of the aga
  12. pour about half the beer into the roasting tin
  13. cook the meat for about 24 hours.- if it starts to look dry add more beer
  14. about ten minutes or so before serving take the meat out, remove the skin, and leave to rest
  15. put the skin under the grill to crisp up
slow-cooked pork

Not surprisingly the Hog’s back goes very well with the pork

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