Pork Shoulder with Peach-Melon Salsa

Pork shoulder is a very forgiving cut, which is why chef Howard lets it cook while she’s at the beach for a satisfying dinner afterward. The juicy summer fruit salsa is essential to brightening the smoky, cumin-rubbed meat.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr 55 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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Ingredients

Pork

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

6 pounds bone-in pork shoulder, may use a "picnic cut" or "Boston butt"

Peach-melon Salsa

1 small seedless watermelon, 2-3 cups diced

4 ripe peaches, 2-3 cups diced

4 scallions, green part only, about ½ cup thinly sliced

2 limes, about 3 tablespoons juice

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced, about 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (including stems)

Directions

  1. Pork, part 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a bowl, add the salt, cumin, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Rub mixture all over the pork, making sure to use all of it. Place the pork fat-side up into a Dutch oven. Cover, place in the oven, and cook for 4 hours.
  2. Salsa: Place watermelon on a flat work surface. Slice off the top and bottom so they're flat; then place melon upright. Cut along the edge of the watermelon from top to bottom to remove rind; repeat all the way around until the rind is completely removed. Dice watermelon by cutting into ½-inch slices; stack slices and cut into ½-inch strips. Then cut the strips into a ½-inch dice. Place 2–3 cups of watermelon into a bowl and set aside. (Reserve remaining watermelon for another use.)
  3. Cut peaches into a ½-inch dice. Place 2–3 cups of peaches into the bowl with the watermelon and set aside. (Reserve any remaining peaches for another use.)
  4. Trim scallions, then thinly slice the green parts and add to the bowl. (Reserve white and light green part for another use.) Zest then juice limes directly into the salsa bowl; then add the chipotle peppers, mint, and salt. Stir well, then cover and let rest for 30 minutes to marry ingredients. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 5 cups salsa. (Note: Salsa will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator.)
  5. Pork, part 2: After 4 hours, raise oven temperature to 400 degrees F and remove the lid. Cook uncovered, 1 more hour.
  6. Assembly: Remove pork from Dutch oven and let rest, 10 minutes. Slice against the grain in 1-inch slices, cutting around the bone. (Alternatively, meat can be pulled from the bone.) Place meat on a serving platter and drizzle with some of the meat drippings from the pot. Serve with peach-melon salsa on the side.