Frank's New Year's Pork Roast, Cabbage, Black-eyed Peas and cornbread

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by Frank Davis

wwltv.com

Posted on December 28, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 1 at 9:12 AM

1 lean whole pork loin, 6 pound average, trimmed
4 teaspoons Frank Davis Pork Seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons softened margarine
3 large onions, peeled and cut into half-rings
6 Fuji or Gala apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 cups pomegranate juice

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

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

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

Next, with the 2 teaspoons of margarine, grease a baking pan large enough to hold the roast.

Then scatter the onions and the chopped apples evenly over the bottom of the pan and sprinkle on the brown sugar.

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

This does two things: first, as the onions and apples cook they flavor the meat; but most importantly, the onions and apples serve as a trivet to keep the roast from soaking into the drippings that will be rendered 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 no more than about 15 minutes).

After it browns, turn the oven down to 300 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 roast—uncovered—until the thermometer reaches 155 degrees (which should take about 2-1/2 hours).

Hint: As the pork cooks, I recommend you baste it all over every 15 minutes or so with the pomegranate juice.

Warning—do not trust your oven thermostat though: after 2 hours of baking, check the meat thermometer. When it reads “150 degrees,” your pork roast is perfect!

Whatever you do, keep a close eye on the oven. Do not overcook or the pork will dry out! You have to remember, too, 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 you need to figure that into your cooking time!

One little trick! About 20 minutes before you remove the roast from the oven, pour the remaining pomegranate juice into the baking pan and stir it well into the browned onions and the pan drippings. This is called au jus—give the roast a final basting with it several times.

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

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CHEF’S NOTES:

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

Then to the boiling liquid add about 2 teaspoons of Kitchen bouquet to the drippings for color, throw in a handful of sliced green onions, and stir in a little cornstarch (3 tablespoons mixed in ½ cup of cold water) a little at a time.

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

It 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 steamy effect that renders out natural juices and produces a tasteless piece of meat!

Note: Take your time and delicately remove the bulk of the fat from the loin. A scant amount will serve to season the pork and keep it moist, but unless you remove the bulk of it the pork will turn out way too greasy.

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