Grilled Pork Shoulder With Butter Vinegar Sauce

Rating: 4 out of 5.


YIELD: 4–6 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2–2½-lb. boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • Grapeseed or other neutral oil (for pork)
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 chiles de árbol, torn in half, seeds removed if desired
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Special Equipment: A spice mill or mortar and pestle


  1. Toast fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown and starting to pop, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice mill or mortar and pestle and let cool; coarsely grind. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in oregano. Place pork on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and rub with oil. Season all over with 1 Tbsp. salt, then rub with spice mixture, packing it on. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours or chill, uncovered, up to 2 days.
  2. Bring chiles, vinegar, butter, and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and sauce is reduced by about a third, about 5 minutes. Season with salt; cover and keep warm over low heat until ready to use.
  3. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Drizzle pork all over with oil, then grill, turning every 5 minutes or so, until extremely, gorgeously browned and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 120°F, 35–45 minutes. Continue to grill, brushing with sauce and turning not quite every minute (you’re going to see flare-ups, but don’t worry), until pork is glazed and shiny and temperature on thermometer has risen to 130°F, 5–10 minutes more. Transfer pork to a platter and let rest 30 minutes; reserve remaining sauce.
  4. Transfer pork to a cutting board and pour any accumulated juices on platter into reserved sauce. Return sauce to a simmer. Slice pork against the grain ¼” thick. Arrange on platter, spoon some sauce over, and season with salt. Serve remaining sauce alongside.

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