Pork Roast With Carolina Gravy

If you don't own an instant read thermometer, it's worth purchasing one for this recipe.

Pork Roast with Carolina Gravy
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Prop Styling: Lisa Powell; Bailey; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 33 mins
Stand Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 18 mins
8 servings

This tender, flavorful pork roast recipe begins with a bone-in pork shoulder, also known as a Boston butt. (The name comes from a shipping container called a butt once used to transport pork cuts.) It's the same cut often used for North Carolina style pulled-pork barbecue, but instead of pit-cooking it low and slow all night, this roast is in the oven only long enough to turn tender while remaining firm enough to be sliced. However, if you prefer shredded pork, you can leave the roast in the oven for a couple more hours until it turns spoon-tender. Either way, the tasty pan juices are reduced to make gravy for drizzling.


  • 4 medium leeks

  • 1 (5- to 6-lb.) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)

  • Kitchen string

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • 3 thick bacon slices, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 10 garlic cloves, halved

  • 3 medium onions, halved and sliced

  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and discard root ends and dark green tops of leeks. Thinly slice leeks; rinse well, and drain.

  2. Tie pork roast with kitchen string, securing at 2-inch intervals. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Cook bacon in hot oil in an ovenproof Dutch oven or large, deep cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add leeks, garlic, and onion; cook, stirring frequently, 15 to 17 minutes, or until mixture is golden brown. Transfer to a bowl.

  4. Add pork roast, fat side down, to Dutch oven, and cook 2 minutes on all sides or until browned. Remove pork.

  5. Return leek mixture to Dutch oven; top with pork. Add broth and next 3 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium, and bring to a light boil. Remove from heat, and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

  6. Bake at 350° for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 180° to 185°. Remove pork from Dutch oven, cover with foil, and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

  7. Meanwhile, pour pan juices through a wire mesh strainer into a saucepan to equal 4 cups, discarding solids (add equal parts broth and white wine to pan juices to equal 4 cups, if necessary). Let stand 5 minutes; skim fat from surface of pan juices.

  8. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 cup and slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in butter until melted. Serve with pork.

  9. Shredded Pork With Carolina Gravy: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 5. Bake at 350° for 4 to 5 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 195°. Remove pork from Dutch oven, cover with foil, and let stand 20 minutes. Shred pork with two forks. Proceed with recipe as directed.

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