Pork Brined in Rum and Cider with Apples

Roasted Pork Shoulder Brined in Rum and Cider with Apples


  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 2 cups apples cider
  • 1/3 cup Kosher salt
  • 15 juniper berries - crushed
  • 15 peppercorns - crushed
  • 3 garlic cloves - smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Combine all ingredients except pork and oil in a medium sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until salt is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Put the roast in a gallon zippered plastic bag, add brine, evacuate most of the air, and refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours — turning three or four times while brining to distribute the brine.
  3. Allow roast to warm on the counter for 2 to 3 hours before cooking.
  4. Heat oven to 250F. Rinse roast and pat dry with a lint-free kitchen towel. Discard brine.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast and brown well on 3 sides — about 3 minutes per side. When you flip the fourth side down, place the skillet in the center of the oven. If the roast has a fatty side brown it first and end with it on top.
  6. For tender, medium-rare meat, cook roast to 145-150 degrees at its center according to an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, for cooked through, succulent meat, cook to 165-170 degrees (we don't advise going for something in between). Remove from oven, place on a cutting board, and tent with foil.