Slow-Baked Pork Roast

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 23, 2011 at 4:12 PM

 

1 lean Boston butt pork roast, 6 pound average
3 teaspoons Frank Davis Pork Seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons high quality vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into half-rings
1 cup concentrated chicken broth
3 cups cooked long grain rice
4 medium-large, fluffy-baked sweet potatoes
Granulated sugar and cinnamon mixture

First, start off by heating your oven to 500 degrees. 

Now place the roast on the countertop and liberally sprinkle it with the pork seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. 

Then slice each pod of garlic in half lengthwise, poke holes in the roast with a pointed paring knife, and push a piece of garlic deep down into each hole. 

When this is done, set the meat aside for a moment so that the seasonings seep in.

Next, thoroughly grease a baking pan large enough to hold the roast with the vegetable oil and scatter the onions evenly across the bottom of the pan. 

When you’re ready to start cooking, put the roast—fat side up!—on top of the sliced onions. 

This does two things: first, as the onions cook they flavor the meat.  But most importantly, the onions serve as a natural trivet to keep the pork from soaking into the drippings which render out during baking.

Now, slide the roast—uncovered—into the oven.  But watch it very carefully.  You want to cook it at 500 degrees only until the fat begins to sizzle slightly and it begins to turn a light brown color (which should take only about 15 minutes). 

After it browns, turn the oven down to 325 degrees, turn the roast over in the pan (now putting the fat side down), and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it doesn’t rest on a bone. 

Then continue cooking the pork until the thermometer reaches 160 degrees (which should take about 2-1/2 hours). 

Warning—do not trust your oven thermostat though: after 2 hours of baking, check the meat thermometer. 

When it reads “160 degrees,” your pork roast is perfect, tender, and unbelievably juicy!

Whatever you do, keep a close eye on the oven.  Do not overcook or the pork will dry out! 

You havetoremember that once you remove the roast from the oven, it will continue to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes on the countertop as it “sets.” 

So to reach culinary perfection, you must figure that into your cooking time!

One little trick, though!  About 20 minutes before you remove the roast from the oven, pour the broth into the baking pan and stir it well into the browned onions and the pan drippings.  This is called au jus

From this point until the time you slice it for service, baste the roast with the au jus several times.

When you’re ready to eat, bring the meat to the table and carve it ceremoniously in front of your guests.  Oh—and a little of that au jus ladled over the slices rounds out the presentation.

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CHEF’S NOTES:

To thicken the pan drippings into a rich gravy, pour them out of the baking dish into a heavy skillet and bring them to a rapid boil. 

Then to the boiling liquid add about 2 teaspoons of Kitchen bouquet for color, throw in a handful of thinly sliced green onions, and stir in a little cornstarch (3 tablespoons mixed in 1/2 cup of cold water) a little at a time. 

It will thicken the sauce nicely as it cooks and it will give the roast a beautiful gloss. 

By the way, the gravy should need no extra salt and pepper, but you can add some if you so desire.

And for real “roast,” don’t cook it in a covered pan, a baking bag, or wrapped in foil. 

Roasting means cooked with dry heat, so that the outer surface of the meat turns crisp to seal in the natural juices.  If you wrap or cover the meat, you end up creating a moist steaming effect that renders out natural juices and produces a tasteless, dry piece of meat!

My personal preference for side dishes is an “open roasted” sweet potato or Louisiana yam and a bowl of steamed, buttered, white long-grain rice (since you gotta have something to ladle the gravy over!).

I wouldn’t do anything to the sweet potato other than pop it open, stuff it with a big ol’ chunk of butter, and scatter on a couple teaspoons of a granulated sugar/cinnamon mix as garnish.

 

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