Sunday, April 15, 2012

just your average


I have to say - this pork roast wasn't terribly much to write home about. It's possible I didn't know what kind of cut I had to work with - I mean "pork roast" is a fairly general description. Would it have helped if I kept braising it until it did yield? Maybe. But it was late, and we were hungry, and it was fine, if dry in spots.

The gravy was gravy, though. So good. I'm not sure I cooked the roux quite long enough - it's hard to determine whether your roux has reached that well-toasted peanut butter-colored stage when I feel it immediately hits that color from picking up the porky bits from searing the meat. It just started smelling like well-done popcorn, and I figured I should stop before it started smelling like burnt popcorn. No one needs that.

The creamed spinach next to it, though? To die. Just 1 T. butter + 1 T. flour cooked to less than peanut butter-colored, 1 lb. wilted spinach and 1 c. cream. Cooked slowly until most of the liquid had evaporated. I could have made that whole thing dinner. Swoon.

Smothered Pork Roast
adapted slightly from The Amateur Gourmet

1 5-lb. boneless pork roast
salt and pepper
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 T. fresh thyme leaves
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. olive oil
8 T. butter
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. chicken broth

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

2. Season the pork very generously with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the fat and flesh of the meat. Set the roast aside for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour at room temperature.

3. Combine the onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, sear the meat on all sides until deeply browned and crusty, 10 to 12 minutes total.

5. Transfer the meat to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, and then stir in the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour to make a roux and continue to cook, stirring, until the roux turns a dark peanut butter color, about 10 minutes.

6. Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are well-coated and the mixture is thick. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Return the pork to the Dutch oven, spoon some of the onion mixture over the meat, cover, and roast for about 3 hours, turning and basting the pork every 30 minutes or so, until the meat will break apart when pressed gently with a fork. Serve sliced over the grain of your choice.

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