There’s more than one way to cook a pork roast. Weeks ago I was with a group of friends and one of them was talking about realizing the need to cook for her family regularly. And while she knew there were things in her pantry, she just didn’t know how to put them all together. Now, I don’t fancy myself June Cleaver but I can cook. It’s not gourmet, I’ve never used truffles (although I’d love to), but I figure that anything I make at home is going to taste better and be better for you than your average restaurant.
Of course I cringe when I remember when Travis and I were first married and I tried to make my Mom’s pot roast recipe. I knew what the ingredients were but I didn’t realize that it needed to cook for at least 2 hours maybe even 3. We decided to have our first guest over, one of Trav’s longtime friends, and he ate the shoe leather I was serving politely- he probably even said it was very good. Even still, I knew it was really tough and wasn’t supposed to turn out that way.
I was interested in cooking when I was a kid and picked out a recipe to make, I think it was in my Mom’s Fanny Farmer Cookbook, it was Chili con Carne and for some reason it was served over lettuce, which is what I assumed con carne meant (it isn’t). I was proud of my creation and took a bowl full to our neighbor’s house. I’ve always wondered what they thought about a kid bringing them a bowl of chili over a lettuce leaf. I doubt they even remember.
And this is the part where my parents and/or brother are thinking of the “goulash incident”. I’d just like to state for the record that it’s pretty ambitious for an 11 year old to try to make up a recipe- no matter how wretched it turned out. Also for the record, my Dad ate an entire plate full without one complaint because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. I’ve never tried to make goulash again. Come to think of it I’m not even sure I know what goulash is. I know it isn’t cooked hamburger drenched in ketchup (we were out of tomato sauce) and lots of garlic salt served over spaghetti noodles. That’s all I remember about that. Let’s never speak of it again.
Let us, however, speak of pork roast. I never knew until I married a guy that’s half Cuban how yummy pork can be.
This is a pork loin roast that I bought in a 4 pack from Costco. I am a thrifty gal after all. It’s about 3 1/2 pounds and I rinsed it and patted it dry with a paper towel.
Next I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat (8 on my stove top)in a cast iron dutch oven until the oil started to bubble a bit and I could see it start to smoke just a little. I’ve heard many chefs refer to it as smoke point. Then take the roast and put it face down into the oil for about 7-8 minutes. That’s why I patted the roast dry. When you’ve got really hot oil and you’re putting the roast into it any drips you might have could make the oil pop and you don’t want to end up getting spattered with oil.
While the roast is searing I chopped 8-10 medium sized red potatoes.
Then I turned the roast over, removed the dutch oven from the heat and placed the potatoes around the roast along with some carrots. I used some that we had leftover from a Super Bowl party tray.
Then I seasoned with salt and pepper. You’d be amazed how yummy it was with just salt and pepper. If you wanted to make it a bit fancier you could use 5-6 whole, peeled garlic cloves. The garlic flavor really mellows when it’s roasted. Or maybe add some rosemary sprigs. This is a really flexible dish that you can either dress up or keep it simple.
Next put the lid on the dutch oven and place it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Then plate it up.
Yes, this is the matching platter to the serving bowl I bought at Target. It was on clearance to for about $8. Love, love the dark blue against the white.
The top of the roast is nice and crispy but the rest was tender enough to fall apart when I cut it. The potatoes were just starting to get a bit crisp in places that were resting against the dutch oven. Travis loved it. Chloe loved it. I loved it. Halle tolerated it. I think she ate one bite of roast and two potatoes. Oh, Daisy loved the little bite I gave her. Although she’s a dog so she eats anything.
I’d love it if I could eventually remember to get all of the extraneous items out of the picture. Can anyone spot the meat thermometer? Yeah, that’s how I roll.
There you have it. A quick, easy, gluten free, what-I-had-on-hand meal to satisfy all but the pickiest Button. Enjoy!