A Perfect Slow Pork Roast for a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

This weekend I finally got around to lighting the oven for the first time this year. To celebrate I decided to slow roast a shoulder joint of  pork and I videoed the whole process so that you can see what was involved.

The video is a 20 minute epic so I have split it into two parts in order to squeeze it into YouTube.  You might need headphones to hear all of the commentary.  Enjoy!

Part One

Part Two


12 thoughts on “A Perfect Slow Pork Roast for a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

  1. Pingback: Recipe ideas | Green Design GDES3003

  2. Hi Simon.
    Tomorrow is the big day. A 4,5 kg pork roast goes into the oven. I’m still not too shure of how long I must leave the thing in the oven. What would you think? 5 hours? I thought I better start really early, and then I can always give it a fire-up before serving to get it well crispy, but on the other hand, I would prefer to be able to time it just a bit. Do you think the oven can keep warm for so long?
    A bit worried

    • Hi Lisbeth, this reply may be too late for you now but here goes anyway. Here are few tips:

      1. Make sure you fire the oven, at full temperature, for about 2 hours or so beforehand. You want as much heat as possible in the oven structure for cooking over a long period.

      2. Once you have done this, spread the coles across the oven floor then wait, with the door and chimney open, for it to cool down (this can take quite a long time!).

      3. When the oven is around 250 degrees C, put the joint of pork in the oven (in a roasting tin), close the door and block the chimney. Leave it for 30-40 mins at this temperature (the high temp. sizzle).

      4. After the sizzle, check the temperature again. If it is anything above 180 degrees C, open the oven door for a while until the temperature drops. At around 180, close the entrance and leave it.

      5. Depending on how quickly your oven loses heat, your joint of pork will be cooked in 2-3 hours I would say. If it loses hear quite quickly it will take longer. In experiments, my oven retained a temperature of around 170-120 for about 10 hours. Plenty of time for a large roast.

      Let us know how it goes.


      • Hi Simon :0)
        Thanks for your reply. Aye, I saw it a wee bit late but the roast was a success indeed!!
        Since I don’t have a thermometer, it was a bit of guessing, to find out when the temperature was right. So the high temp sizzle probably was only 15 min at about 300°C and the temperature after that was probably over 180 as well, but the roast was covered in two layers of aluminium foil. The roast was finished about two hours too early (you were absolutely right with your 2-3 hours) but before serving we heated up the oven again and gave it an after-burn…. Well, that was a bit too much of a burn but it was still all right.
        Our guests were amazed and we had a great evening – and had a toast on you ;0)
        I have uploaded some photos on my picasa web album here:


        And, before I forget, you spice rub is great. Since our porchetta was rolled, I could open it and also rub the spices inside. Just excellent!
        Next project is the chicken ;0)
        Thank you for bringing a clayoven into our life.

      • Great work Lisbeth, the pork looked very very good. The photos are excellent too. Please keep sharing – I look forward to the chicken!

        Best wishes


  3. Hi Simon,
    Guess you must be on Hayling, same as me! I found this really interesting as it throws up some of the issues I am grappling with. I too have a version of your tinfoil covered door! (not out of a skim board, sadly. I obviously don’t have your style!) The idea of the door is to stop the heat from escaping, but if the embers are still in the oven they get starved of oxygen and just cover everything in dense smoke. (ruins the food). I am now thinking of getting a shovel and completely removing the embers once the oven is up to temp, then plugging both door and chimney with some kind of insulated board.
    Check out my own blog if you get a moment. I have tried to log the problems I had with getting the fire to burn. I think your oven has a much better airflow than mine!
    You’ll have to come over one day! John

    • Hi John, not on Hayling. I live in the Southdowns, nr Petersfield. I love the blog, brilliantly informative. The oven looks beautiful. I don’t have the problem of soot / smoke on the food though. My oven reaches well over 400 degrees C before I let it cool (if I’m cooking anything other then pizza). The heat renders the embers mostly smokeless.

      Air flow, as you insinuate, is the key. Apparently it’s all about the dome volume / height ratio and the chimney location within the roof of the dome.

      Anyway, you must be very proud of your oven – enjoy it!


      • Going to fire it up tomorrow. Doing pizzas, various breads and a pork roast. (Half price at Tesco! (they aren’t paying me!) ).
        Main thing I will be focussing on now is how to retain the heat. I hope to be able to nip out to Hayling Hardware early and get a coal shovel and a broom handle so I can remove the coals once I reach a good heat. I need to make a close fitting door which has an insulation layer on it. and a plug for the chimney. Funny how you get more and more pernickety about it!

  4. Hi Simon
    followed the video today and had a great pork roast. I did some things a bit different like placing the joint in an aluminium foil roasting tray and wrapping the joint in foil.The temperature at the start was 220. After two hours I took off the foil and finished cooking for 30 mins.Temp was 110 when cooked. For the door I just jig sawed the door shape from plywood added a door knob on the outside and covered the inside with foil. Also covered the joint in my own honey, tasty.


  5. Hi Simon
    Thanks for the advice, finished the oven last week & fired it up. From foundation to first firing took about 4 wks as I let every layer naturally dry. Cooked in it on sunday (baked potato, stuffed mushrooms and pizzas & temps got up to 350! It all held together very well and only some very minor cracks appeared. Next stage it to add a sunken BBQ, fire pit & a kitchen counter to prepare food.
    total cost: €14 euro!

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