0 from 0 votes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
9 hrs 15 mins
Brining Time
8 hrs
Total Time
17 hrs 35 mins

Get your Holiday feast on with this delicious Slow Roasted Brown Butter and Vanilla Pork Shoulder with pears. It will be your wow center piece for sure. Slow, easy and delicious, win win!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Lena Gladstone
  • 1 5-7 lb Farmer John pork shoulder picnic
  • 24 cups cold water
  • 18 tbsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 bosc pears, halved and quartered
Vanilla Bean Sauce
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1.5 vanilla beans
  • 1 tbsp orange vinegar or orange juice
  1. I cut multiple openings with a pairing knife all over the pork to make sure it's infused with the brining flavors. In a large pot, mix together water, salt, vanilla extract, thyme and bay leaves. Add the pork in the pot, cover with a lid. Refrigerate overnight.

  2. The next day, when you are ready to cook the pork, remove it from the brine, pat it dry with paper towels. If you would like, cut the pork fat area into diamonds. Place it on a baking dish on a rack.

  3. Preheat your oven to 250 F. Set the oven rack to the middle position.

  4. Cook the pork uncovered for 8-9 hours until temp reads 185 F on a meat thermometer.

  5. Cut the pears and add them around and under the pork where possible.

  6. Remove pears once pork is done, let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes while oven heats to 500F. Add the pork and cook for 5 minutes, rotate and cook for another 5 until skin puffs up all over. The skin should be puffy and blistered, and you should be completely beside yourself with glee at this point!

Vanilla Bean Butter
  1. For the vanilla bean brown butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking the butter, stirring several times to ensure it cooks evenly, until it turns golden brown and smells toasty. Remove from the heat and use a blunt butter knife to scrape the inside of the vanilla bean pods over the pot, allowing the small vanilla beans to fall into the brown butter. After scraping, add the vanilla pods and vinegar to the pot and whisk. Set aside and infuse for 15 minutes.

  2. Slice the pork into thin slices, add the pears and drizzle with vanilla-butter sauce. Add your favorite sides and enjoy.