Pork shoulder is pretty tough, so I like to start this dish the night before and let it cook slowly overnight. This method will tenderize any tough cut of meat. The balsamic sauce can be made at the last minute. This is a perfect dish for a buffet dinner.
Pork has protein and lysine for building muscle, bone, and blood, and phosphorous for nerve and muscle function. Annatto (achiote) seeds have a very bioavailable form of vitamin E, which helps lower cholesterol and protects the skin from the aging effects of ultraviolet radiation. They also contain carotenoids for healthy eyes.
5 lbs. pork shoulder
2 Tbs. rock salt or salt substitute
½ cup Annatto Water
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1½ Tbs. low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ Tbs. maple syrup
2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
¼ tsp. rock salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper
½ cup annatto or achiote seeds (whole, not ground)
½ cup warm water
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Rinse the pork, pat it dry with paper towels, place it in a large roasting pan, and prick it all over with a large fork.
3. Rub the pork with the salt. Allow the salt to penetrate the meat for 15–20 minutes.
4. Add the seeds to the water and let soak for 5 minutes. Work the seeds with your hands for a couple of minutes until the water turns orange. Strain to remove the seeds.
5. Baste the meat with a little of the Annatto Water and put it in the oven.
6. Allow the roast to slowly cook for about 5–6 hours at 200 degrees, basting every hour if possible.
7. Make the sauce: Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
8. When the roast reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the sauce on the side.