This unusual salsa verde includes the garlicky flavor of pickled spring ramps (along with their briny pickling liquid), and heat of Aleppo pepper flakes, which are milder than traditional red pepper. Fish sauce and soy sauce lend a flavor of Southeast Asia to this traditionally South American sauce.
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde
For the pork
- Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed, or 6 spring garlic tops, coarsely chopped
- 4 Tbs. fennel seed
- 4 Tbs. black peppercorns
- 1 tsp. juniper berries, cracked
- 6 to 7 lb. bone-in pork shoulder with skin
For the salsa verde
- 2 bunches scallions (about 12 to 14), trimmed
- 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pickled ramps with 1/2 cup pickled ramp liquid
- 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. Asian fish sauce
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley or dill (or combination of both)
- 16 cups (10 ounces) mixed greens, for serving
Brine the pork
- In an 8- to 10-quart pot, combine 5 quarts of cold water, 2 cups salt, the brown sugar, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and juniper berries. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat and let cool completely. Once the brine has cooled, add the pork, cover, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Make the salsa verde
- Thinly slice the whites and green tops of scallions, and reserve them separately.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the scallion whites and sauté until just softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the scallion greens. Transfer all of the scallions to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining 1-1/4 cups oil, the lemon juice, pickled ramps with liquid, Aleppo pepper flakes, soy sauce, and fish sauce until well blended. Taste and add salt if needed. Cover and chill for 12 to 24 hours.
Roast the pork
- Remove the pork from the brine. Place, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
- Position an oven rack in the middle of oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Roast the pork, uncovered, until the meat pierces easily with a sharp knife (or fork) and a meat thermometer inserted into the center (not touching bone) registers 180°F, about 6 hours. If the skin darkens too quickly before roasting time is complete, tent the pork with foil.
- Remove the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 45 minutes. Just before serving, stir the fresh herbs into the salsa verde. Slice the pork and serve over the greens with the salsa verde alongside.