Roasted Pork Shoulder with Turmeric and Lemon Grass

8-10 Servings

4¾ hours 20 minutes active

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When developing this recipe, we had in mind the Balinese spit-roasted pig called babi guling, which is seasoned with a long list of spices and aromatics. We start by making a paste with fresh lemon grass, shallots and turmeric, then add garam masala to layer in more complex spicing. Don’t trim the fat off the surface of the pork roast—scoring it with a knife creates a surface to which the seasoning paste can adhere. For easy cleanup, line the baking sheet with foil before setting the roast on top.



4¾ hours

20 minutes active


  • 4

    medium shallots, peeled and quartered

  • 3

    lemon grass stalks, dry outer layers discarded, trimmed to bottom 6 inches and cut into 1-inch lengths

Joshua L.
March 1, 2023
wonderfully flavored fall apart pork shoulder
This was a real winner! So easy to make and was perfect paired with the cilantro coconut rice recipe from Milk Street.
Susan W.
February 16, 2023
Pork shoulder or butt?
Can you clarify if this is pork butt or pork shoulder? In my area (Southern California) I see more bone in for both, and the shoulder oftentimes still has the skin on. Do I remove the skin? Love your recipes!
Alex A.
February 23, 2023
No Lemongrass
This looks really tasty but lemongrass isn't available where I am. Is it possible to use a lemongrass paste? About how much paste would that be?
Richard H.
February 23, 2023
Confused from photo
I see a green oil or sauce surrounding the dish. Nothing in the ingredient list would give off that color. Was something left out?
Michael P.
February 19, 2023
Internal temp?
195? That’s seems excessively high. Won’t it be super dried out?
Manoj B.

Do you recommend tying the roast since it's boneless? Store bought boneless shoulders can be a messy affair and am wondering if you have some thoughts on how to handle this.

Having grown up in Singapore, and as I used to go to Bali at least yearly, this recipe beings back lots of memories and longing for Babi Guling, and I "MUST" try it.

I will roast this on a pellet grill which sort of functions as a convection oven with the advantage of real wood.

What I plan to make with this is Coconut Rice infused with Pandan Leaves and on the side a "Sayur Lodeh".

Lynn C.

Hi Manoj -

The boneless pork shoulders we usually use are very tidy and don't need to be tied. If you find that yours is not, feel free to tie it. We look forward to hearing how you like the dish. Your side dishes sound perfect!

The Milk Street Team

Manoj B.

Thank you, and I shall! This weekend, it is a toss up between this and my experiment of an Indian style lamb meat loaf wrapped in puff pastry (ala Wellington). Maybe I'll do both!

Gary H.

I baked the pork for 5 hours and it still did not reach 195 degrees. What did I do wrong?

Lynn C.

Hi Gary -

I'm not sure what went wrong for you. Just to confirm that the recipe calls for a 5 pound boneless pork shoulder. Any larger (or if it's bone-in) would cause the meat to take longer.

The Milk Street Team

Pamela P.

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