Aleppo Pepper-Roasted Pork with Shallot Vinaigrette

Eddie & I have a long history of having friends and family over to our home for dinners and parties. We were grateful to enjoy the company of my cousin and her husband, a coworker and a former coworker all of whom we consider friends for a November dinner party. It was that night Eddie served this dish as a main course item. It was truly fantastic and, just as the recipe said, had a succulent shredable texture that went beautifully with the marinade.

With fresh memories of happy bellies from our November party we are serving it once again for our family Christmas dinner tomorrow. Maybe it’s in relation to our first year back in Ohio, but it seems like 2014 has been particularly challenging for various members of our family and yet especially full of shared strength and love.

I suppose that’s what I consider Christmas to be all about… sharing what you have to offer with those around you  with enough happiness, warmth and flavor to fill a room with so much joy that it resonates across the years.

We picked up our Aleppo from North Market Spices and the Boston Butt Pork Shoulder from Carfagna’s on 161, both great stores.



  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup Aleppo pepper or 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 8-10-pound bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper



  1. Mix garlic, Aleppo, salt, and sugar in a small bowl; rub over pork.
  2. Place in a large roasting pan. Cover and chill 12-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  4. Uncover pork and roast, basting with drippings every hour or so and covering with foil if browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of pork registers 145°F (meat will be very tender but not quite falling off the bone), 6-7 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  5. Do ahead: Pork can be roasted 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat in a 225°F oven (about 1 hour).
  6. Whisk shallots, vinegar, parsley, marjoram, Aleppo pepper, oil, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium bowl. Season with salt and black pepper; serve with pork.

Do ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.


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