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Need help making my first Pork Roast


anthonylee86
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Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to E-Gullet. I have been lurking for a while but recently got a really nice pork roast and some bone-in chops and country style ribs. I have plenty of different hot peppers and some basic cooking supplies and skills. I am just looking for some ideas as I am hoping to cook this tomorrow.

I have a 3 1/2 lb Loin End Roast I bought on sale as well as some bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops. I am looking to expand my cooking skills and am looking for some ideas on how to cook these. I live in a small apartment so only have a range and oven available. I am just wondering if I should brine first, roast or braise, brown first or not?

I am just looking for ideas on how to cook these items. Any help is appreciated.

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Hi, Anthony! Welcome.

Can you tell us about your pork? Supermarket pork (no shame there whatsoever) or something from a more exotic source? The difference usually manifests itself in marbling, and that matters when giving cooking advice.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Hi, Anthony! Welcome.

Can you tell us about your pork? Supermarket pork (no shame there whatsoever) or something from a more exotic source? The difference usually manifests itself in marbling, and that matters when giving cooking advice.

Just supermarket pork from a sale at Giant Eagle this week

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My advice:

- Brine it for 48 hours.

- Coat the top with a heavy coat of Dijon mustard with chopped sage. (preferably fresh sage, but dried will do.)

- Roast it at a fairly low temperature until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

- When you take it out of the oven scrape off the coating and put the roasting pan over a stove top burner. Add a bit of white wine & boil to reduce. Add full cream and boil some more until the sauce thickens. Turn heat off & carve the roast.

- Pour the sauce into a gravy boat or a small bowl. Serve.

Full details on my blog.

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My tuppence worth.

I like crackling. In fact I think crackling is the best bit. I roast a lot of boned out loins because I keep pigs and generally am not short of a bit of pork.

I brine for 48 hours. Using the recipe in Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail. Basically salt, sugar, juniper, cloves and black pepper.

Then take the joint, wrap in muslin and hang for a day somewhere breezy. This may be a little suspect depending on how warm it is where you are. Here in south Wales in September is a balmy 15C today. Probably enough to worry environmental health, but I haven't come to any harm.

I now have a dry joint. Dry is very important for my crackling.

Score the skin and fat with a craft knife so I score into the fat but not the meat. Score straight lines at approx 1cm apart. Rub a little salt and pepper into the skin. I don't go overboard wiuth this because I find it makes the crackling too salty.

For a boneless loin I tie the joint.

Pop into the oven at 230C for about 15 mins. Then knock the temp down to 150C. I leave the oven door open until it comes down to this. Pop in my meat thermomenter and cook until I have an internal temp of 60C. Probably a touch over that.

That's it really. I have done the scolding with boiling water thing on pork belly and it works well, so I should probably work out how to integrate that into the dry method I use for loins.

I'm not for one second suggesting this is porky Nirvana, and I'm very keen to see any other suggestions or experiences on your thread.

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If you got the pork roast from Giant Eagle, then I would surmise you picked up a boneless pork roast. I would also surmise that the pork has already been injected with a brine solution, so brining it at home as a separate step seems unnecessary to me. When I do a pork roast from a place like GE, I normally remove any silver skin (if there is any) with a boning knife. If the pork doesn't hold a nice uniform shape, I will then truss the loin using cotton twine (if you ask at the meat department at your local supermarket, they will usually give you some for free).

I then season liberally with salt and pepper and sear each side of the loin in a skillet for about two minutes using an oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed. I then transfer the seared loin to a casserole dish or roasting pan where I've already placed cut up potatoes or other root vegetables. I then bake it at 375 deg F until the internal temperature of the loin reaches whatever temperature you consider to be "done". Remove the pork and tent with aluminum foil. Meanwhile, crank up the oven temperature to 425 deg F and finish roasting off the vegetables.

Slice and serve. If you want a pan sauce to accompany the pork, deglaze the skillet you used to sear the pork initially and build a sauce from that.

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Pork roast isn't done until it's falling apart (should never be rubbery, should never have to be sliced with a knife).

This is how we make it in central Louisiana:

Finely dice 1 onion, cloves of (1 head) garlic, and a green bell pepper. I just put all of it in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix with 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 2 teaspoons paprika (Hungarian, etc., but not smoked Spanish), and 1 teaspoon salt (careful with the salt; you can always add more later, to taste).

Using a sharp, thin knife, poke holes all over the roast about 1-2" deep and stuff mixture into the holes. I've tried various ways (even a pastry bag once), but always end up just using my fingers to stuff it.

The roast has many holes in by the time the stuffing is done, so don't worry if you have 30+ holes. (Mom says it should look like someone shot the pork roast with a shotgun at this point, as it's full of holes, stuffed with deliciousness.

Season the outside of the roast heavily with paprika (regular, not smoked), black pepper, but no salt.

Bring a large pot or Dutch oven to high heat, add some olive oil (or vegetable oil), and drop in roast. How high? When you put the roast it, it should be yelling! It should be sizzling. It should be smoking. You'll want the vent on high. Brown the roast on all "sides", maybe 5-7 minutes each or until the side is dark brown, just don't burn it, which could happen if you forget about it for 15 minutes. The idea here is to brown the outside really well and render some of the fat at the same time.

When fully browned on all sides, lower the temp to medium, add about 1" of water, bring to simmer, cover, and braise** at medium heat until it's falling apart. Check the roast every 30 minutes and add water as needed. Braise until the roast is almost falling apart; the timing of which will vary depending on the size of the roast. When the roast is done, uncover and reduce the liquid to the consistency of gravy. This gravy will be unbelievably flavourful and is the reason you want to be careful with the salt at the beginning, otherwise you'll end up with a really salty gravy.

The end result is a pork roast that doesn't require brining (gets its moisture and extra flavour from the stuffing) and doesn't need to be secured with string, although you can if you want.

Serve a large piece of the roast with steamed rice, and spoon some of the gravy over the rice and the roast. Garnish with parsley if you feel like and maybe add a couple of shots of your favorite hot sauce to the roast.

**Note that we braise on the stove top, not the oven.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I usually make it the way my mom and my grandmother did, the Bohemian/Bavarian way (well, at least our family's)

Salt liberally, pepper, sprinkle with a bunch of whole caraway seeds. Cut up an onion or two, put them on the bottom of the roaster. Roast on top, maybe add a bit of water and off in the oven. 375 or 400 degree, use a meat thermometer to determine when it's done, let rest, slice. Serve with potato (or better yet, potato dumplings) and the onion sauce (which is rather watery) on top of the meat.

Add a good Bavarian beer and you're done :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Pork roast isn't done until it's falling apart (should never be rubbery, should never have to be sliced with a knife).

This is how we make it in central Louisiana:

Hi Fooey. This sounds very different to anything I've seen in the UK. I want to give this a go. Can I ask, is there a joint you favour for this preperation? And do you leave the skin on? Bone in?

Thanks

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Anthony - brining works great for pork (and much more.) I'm surprised by seeing the 48 hour brine here. Typically for a boneless pork loin, trimmed of most fat & silverskin, I brine a 3 lb loin for about 3.5 hours and a 5 lb loin about 5 hours. Rather than just saying "brine" the brine proportions are important. I have had nothing but good results usiing a brine formula from John Ash - 1 qt liquid, 1/3 cup kosher salt, 1/3 cup brown sugar. - from that brine, just vary how long you brine based on what it is and the size. Also an easy formula when you need to increase the volume of brine.

brined pork loin is a dish I serve at the Country Club, the brine I use, for the liquid is 2 cups water, 1 cup bourbon, 1 cup cranberry juice (or orange juice), 1/3 cup kosher salt, 1/3 cup brown sugar (I happen to use brown sugar splenda, works fine.)

chops I typically only brine about 1.5 hours

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Hi Fooey. This sounds very different to anything I've seen in the UK. I want to give this a go. Can I ask, is there a joint you favour for this preperation? And do you leave the skin on? Bone in Thanks

Hi sheepish.

Mother says she buys an pork (arm) shoulder roast, what they call a "Boston butt" or "pork shoulder" in the states. It's ideal for long, slow cooking and is less expensive than other cuts.

It's the cut in this image, colored orange. Here's a picture.

It's usually a large roast, 6-10 lbs, and sometimes has a bone, sometimes doesn't. She asks the butcher to remove the bone, but a boned roast should work just fine.

She was insistent that, to get the best possible flavor, after stuffing as above, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

Essentially, you're marinating the roast in onion, garlic, bell pepper, cayenne, etc.

Skin off, but quite a bit of fat is OK.

You'll be braising it for a few hours and most of the fat will render into the gravy, making it that much better.

It sounds like a lot of meat, but leftovers are great!

It makes great sandwiches, not unlike pulled pork sandwiches, which are also made from pork shoulder meat.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Mother says she buys an pork (arm) shoulder roast, what they call a "Boston butt" or "pork shoulder" in the states. It's ideal for long, slow cooking and is less expensive than other cuts.

Thanks very much for that. My butchery book is from the US so I'm familiar with Boston Butt. We call it blade, or perhaps spare-rib joint in the UK. As luck would have it I have 6 of those taking up a lot of my freeser and I wasn't too sure what I was going to do with them all, so this is great.

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I agree with Ctzncane on a couple of different items...48 hours seems a little long for a 3lb piece of pork. I would fear that if you brined that long you'd start to cure the pork and it can start to break down cell walls and give the outside a mushy texture. I think 5-8 hours seems a little more reasonable. Further, that ratio of brine is what we've been using since college and people always rave about our pork loins.

If I were just starting out I wouldn't do anything crazy...maybe I'll get beat up on the forum for this simplistic approach, but I would brine the pork in Ctzncane's brine. Then I would rinse it off, pat it dry, and find a good spice rub out of a bottle that you like (or that's on sale) and liberally spread this on the pork. Then I'd give each side a quick sear and toss it in the oven until it reaches an internal temp of about 140 (160 degrees = dry/bad pork) and then take it out, tent in foil, and let it rest for about 10-15 min (it'll carry to 145 while you let it rest).

This is easy and you don't have to worry about buying a lot of special ingredients that you won't use. It doesn't sound to fancy, but I guarantee moist pork and people will really like it (plus...I'm from Iowa...and we know pork!)

Scott

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Hi, HawkeyeFoodie. I brine pork belly for bacon in a cold fridge in an 80% brine for 3.5 days. Given a day or two more drying out, that evens out to be about the right amount of saltiness throughout the meat (my taste in saltiness terms is for something like a typical commercial cure, or slightly less). I don't find it gets mushy at all. I wouldn't want a roast as salty as bacon, but one or two days sounds reasonable to me.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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My favorite pork roast is similar to Fooey's, but with a Caribbean slant to it. I roughly chop an onion, about 6 cloves of garlic, and a couple of whatever kind of fresh peppers I have around the house, pulse them in the food processor with a tablespoon of cumin, some salt and black pepper,and a tablespoon of oregano, 2-3 tablespoons of oil, and the juice of a lime. You want a heavy paste, so add oil as needed to get to that consistency. I use a Boston butt, stab it a number of times, work the paste into all the nooks and crannies, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. The next day, I let it come to room temp, sear it on all sides, and then put it in a low oven (275-300F) until the bone wiggles freely or big chunks of the roast can easily be torn off. You may need to baste periodically with the pan juices to keep it from drying out, but usually a Boston butt is marbled heavily enough to be OK; you can also cover it for the first couple of hours of cooking and then uncover it to develop a good crust. I've also been successful cooking this on the grill with indirect heat.

A great treatment for leftovers -- pull the pork into shreds, soak it in lime juice, garlic and a bay leaf long enough to allow some sliced onions to saute until soft and starting to caramelize. Turn the heat up to medium high, squeeze the marinade out of the pork, and toss it in the pan; stir-fry until it develops some bits of browned crust. Wonderful!

Don't ask. Eat it.

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All these suggestions, and the smell of autumn and my apples on the air, are making me so hungry I am drooling. You guys are amazing. I'm printing this whole thread out.

HowEVEH....for a single guy with his first 3.5 lbs pork loin, I'd strongly suggest Marcella Hazan's Braising in Milk. It it is sublime. And it lends itself well to a week's worth of turning left over pork loin into all kinds of leftovers with no weird spice carry over. Although, that said, I do usually add whole cloves of garlic and roughly ground black pepper. But what can you do to it later...Mexican, Asian, Italian...that wouldn't involve those basics anyway?

Don't follow her directions. Bung the thing in a slow cooker on low and check the thermometer. When the brown milk fond=the correct internal temp, you're golden. What I mean to say is, you may need to add more milk as you go along to make sure it doesn't dry out, what you want is for the milk to basically caramelize.

Now I just made myself drool again.

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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