Sunday, August 15, 2010
Cuban Pork Roast
One of my very favorite ways with a pork roast, specifically a shoulder roast, is to marinate it Cuban-style then oven roast it. The roast you see in the photo above is the last piece from our locally pastured hog that we got from Bramble Hollow Farm in Montvale last fall. I took that bad boy out of the freezer last night and set it down in a deep bowl that has a snap-on lid. Then I mixed up a Cuban-style marinade using freshly squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juices. To those juices I added a spice paste I made with my mortar and pestle; toasted cumin seeds, dried oregano, fresh garlic cloves, coarse salt, and ground black pepper. Then, I stirred the whole concoction together with some good olive oil and poured it over the roast in the bowl, placed the lid on the bowl, and let it marinate overnight on the kitchen counter. This morning I turned the roast over and rolled it around in the marinade and let it finish marinating for a few more hours.
Then, into my cast iron dutch oven and into a moderately-hot oven it went. After about an hour, I removed the lid from the dutch oven and returned it to the oven for two more hours, turning the roast over about halfway through that uncovered phase of the cooking. Once the internal temperature reached about 160º to 165º, I took the pot out of the oven, set the roast on a platter, and covered it with a piece of waxed paper for a few minutes. I added some water (about a cup, I guess) to the dutch oven and stirred to combine the water and the pan juices. Then, those pan juices got placed into one of those funny looking "separator" type pitcher/measuring cup thingies to settle for a few minutes. While the jus was resting, I pulled the pork roast apart discarding the bone and any jiggly bits that I deemed inedible. Once the jus had a chance to separate, I poured those delectable flavors back over the pulled pork on the serving platter. Going for less than traditional sides seemed to be the thing to do tonight, as I wasn't really in the mood for beans and rice. So, I cooked a pot of stoneground grits with some fresh corn cut off the cob, a couple of sliced scallions, and a chopped red bell pepper from the garden. Just when the grits were ready to serve, I stirred in some chopped fresh basil and a knob of good butter. Also, I made it out to the backyard garden this afternoon before the rain came and cut a right good mess of chard. After washing the chard thoroughly (in 3 changes of water!), I separated the leaves from the stems and sautéed the chopped leaves with some julienned onion and chopped fresh garlic in a bit of olive oil. I'm saving those chard stems to make pickles with on Wednesday. Anyway, we ended up with a fantastic dinner made mostly of homegrown and locally procured ingredients, once again. See? It's easy!