As the country's largest and most important eating holiday begins to loom, its likely that my posts here will become somewhat irregular. I'm trying to get both my guest list and my menu in order. Making lists, laying in supplies, digging out cherished family recipes and the like, its enough to make one's head spin.
And all the while, the husband continues to come home hungry and hoping to eat. What's a weary Diva to do? Why, cook once and eat twice ... this time, its pork roast!
Basic Pork Roast Recipe:
- one 3 to 4 pound boneless loin of pork roast, center cut
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Vin Santo
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning, or ground sage
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, if desired
- pinch of ras el hanout spice blend
- 1/2 of a large onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
- 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle the mined garlic with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and using the flat of your knife, laid flat against the cutting board, mash the garlic to a paste. Continue scraping your knife over the garlic and salt mixture until the garlic has broken down to the consistency of a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and over it pour 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
To this mixture, add: the black pepper, poultry seasoning (or ground sage), chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, chopped parsley and a pinch of both crushed red pepper flakes and ras el hanout, if desired. Whisk well with small wire whisk to combine. Your mixture will look something like this:
Place the pork roast in the middle of a large roasting pan and, using a sharp knife, make several small slits in the top of the roast, pressing the point of your knife in to the depth of about an inch or so. Pour the Vin Santo (or dark rum) over the pork roast and allow it to sit for two minutes, then slather the entire roast with the reserved oil and herb mixture to coat.
Scatter some chopped onions, shallots and carrots in the bottom of the pan around the roast and place a few slices of onion on top to decorate, as seen above. Roast in the middle of a pre-heated 375 degree oven for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your roast and the speed of your oven, or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 165 to 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
One half hour before your roast is finished, add 1 cup of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth to the bottom of the pan and continue roasting until finished. Remove the roast from the oven, place on a cutting board and tent with foil, allowing the roast to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom and sides of the roasting pan, adding more broth, if desired, to deglaze the pan and achieve a thin sauce. Slice the roast and serve immediately, along with the roasted carrots and shallots, and topped with a drizzle of the pan sauce.
As written, this recipe will serve approximately 4.
Notes: the exact mixture of herbs and spices here is entirely up to you. I never measure and I always use whatever I've got on hand. This time it was rosemary, parsley and thyme ... next time, who knows? I tend to throw in a pinch of this and a dash of that and anyway you mix it, it all turns out well. Feel free to experiment here and create your own special blend. By all means, use the garlic and oil ... then play around with the rest of the mix. You can use this technique for any kind of poultry as well.
Stay tuned for the second iteration, wherein I'll create some left-over magic ... Sandwich Cubano style!