Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Tequila Citrus Sauce

Pork shoulder makes a wonderful roast because it has enough fat to keep it moist and tender during low and slow cooking. The citrus sauce has a smoky, agave sweetness from the tequila and produces a bright counterpoint to the unctuous meat. Serve any extra sauce for dipping.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins
8 servings


Spice Rub & Pork

  • 2 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast


  • 2 cups orange juice

  • cup lemon juice

  • cup lime juice

  • ¼ cup agave syrup or corn syrup

  • ¼ cup tequila

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. To prepare spice rub & pork: Combine sage, 2 tablespoons garlic, oil, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cumin in a small bowl. Place pork, fat-side up, in a baking pan and rub the spice mixture all over the top and sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  2. When ready to roast the pork, position a rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F.

  3. Transfer the pork to a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 170 degrees F for a tender but sliceable texture or 180 degrees F for a pull-apart texture, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.

  5. Transfer the pork to a cutting board; loosely cover with foil. Let rest for at least 15 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, to prepare sauce: Pour orange, lemon and lime juices into the roasting pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Stir in agave (or corn) syrup, tequila, fish sauce, garlic and hot sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is the consistency of a light syrup but not thick enough to coat a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve (discard the solids).

  7. Thinly slice or shred the pork and drizzle the sauce over it. Garnish with cilantro.


To make ahead: Refrigerate pork (Step 1) overnight.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

254 Calories
15g Fat
8g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 3 oz. pork and generous 1 Tbsp. sauce
Calories 254
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Added Sugars 4g 8%
Protein 18g 36%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Vitamin A 113IU 2%
Vitamin C 20mg 23%
Folate 13mcg 3%
Sodium 374mg 16%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 2mg 8%
Magnesium 24mg 6%
Potassium 302mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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