Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Stovetop Rhubarb Ketchup

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Stovetop Rhubarb Ketchup
  • Yield:Serves 10
  • Active time:40 minutes
  • Total time:5 1/2 hours
This recipe appears in:
Sunday Supper: Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Stovetop Rhubarb Ketchup

This barbecue-rubbed pork shoulder is just the ticket for your next backyard bash, especially when served with bold rhubarb ketchup. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Pork shoulder is beloved for good reason: it's cheap, forgiving, and it can feed an army. Those reasons alone make it a winner of a cut in my book. It's also barbecue spice-ready, too, as you'll see here. And when that version is paired with a homemade, garden-fresh condiment, it comes mighty close to being my personal version of heaven on earth.

Why this recipe works:

  • By adding smoked paprika to the spice rub, the pork is infused with smoky flavor without a smoker or grill.
  • Rhubarb adds fruity and tart flavors to the ketchup, without making it taste cloying or jam-like.

Note: Store any remaining spice rub in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to three months, using it liberally on chicken, ribs and burgers.


  • For the Ketchup:
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onions
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the Spice Rub:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • For the Pork:
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup beer


  1. 1.

    For the Ketchup: Place ketchup ingredients in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree using a blender or immersion blender, until slightly chunky or smooth, depending on preference. Let cool, then ladle into jars, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. 2.

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.

  3. 3.

    For the Spice Rub: Make the spice rub by stirring together all spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.

  4. 4.

    For the Pork: Rub pork shoulder with olive oil, sprinkle generously with spice rub and rub into meat. Set pork shoulder in roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Baste pork with pan juices, then continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes, until fall-apart tender inside and crispy-brown outside, about 4 to 5 hours. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices and set roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  6. 6.

    Using forks, pull pork apart in hunks and place on a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately, passing rhubarb ketchup alongside.

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