Got To Be NC
Recipe by: Vivian Howard

The entire Howard clan goes to the beach for one week every year. We rent a house big enough to sleep all twenty of us. I cook a lot, and instead of soaking up the sun, most of us sit inside and talk. I treat the week like a long-drawn-out catering event, planning snacks, breakfasts, and supper and packing all the ingredients that say summer to me.

I make this one-pot pleaser toward the end of the week when we’ve decided we’ve sat inside and looked at one another long enough and it’s time to actually spend a day on the beach. It’s usually everyone’s favorite meal.

Recipe from “Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South,” by Vivian Howard (Little, Brown and
Company, 2016).

Servings: 8
Meal Type: Entree

Print Recipe


tbsp salt
tbsp brown sugar
tbsp ground cumin
pound pork picnic or Boston butt
zest of two limes
tbsp lime juice
tsp salt
tbsp chopped cilantro
tbsp chopped mint
Peach and melon salsa (makes 5 cups)
medium peaches cut into ½-inch dice (about 3 cups)
cups watermelon, cut into ½-inch dice
cup thinly sliced scallion (about 4 whole)
tbsp chipotle in adobo, minced


Step 1

Cook the pork: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Stir together the salt, sugar, and cumin and rub the pork like it’s your job, making sure to use all of it. Place the roast, skin-side up or fat-cap up, in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Put the lid on and slide it onto the middle rack of your oven.

Step 2

Cook it for 4 hours, covered. Raise the heat to 400°F and remove the lid. Cook an additional hour uncovered. Let the meat rest for about 20 minutes before slicing or pulling.

Step 3

Make the salsa and serve: Stir everything together and let the flavors marry for about 30 minutes before serving. You could put this together up to a day in advance, but I like to do it the evening we eat it. This creates a cocktail hour and keeps the colors in the salsa vibrant.

The salsa is both a salad and a sauce, so be generous with it and serve with about 8 ounces of pork.