I was reading my friend Chris's blog the other day when she wrote eloquently of the effect love has on the preparation of food, and that even the simplest dish becomes grand when made with love. She shared her mother's recipe for roast pork and I wrote her that I was going to give it a try. Hopefully my roast was as infused with love as when Chris's mother made it for her family (it certainly was delicious). To go with this I simply sauteed some asparagus, yellow bell pepper, and sliced mushrooms in a little extra virgin olive oil, before adding a few handfuls of the whole grain brown and wild rice mixture leftover from last night's dinner. Simple, tasty, and so healthy :)
I have given you Chris's recipe below verbatim, I only made a few minor changes when I made it. Celery seed is not a seasoning I use so I substituted crushed red pepper flakes; not only is this a seasoning I use a lot, but it seemed a likely candidate for inclusion with these flavors. My only roasting pan is huge, and putting a three and a half pound roast into it seemed a little ridiculous, so I got out the cast iron skillet. Once I had the cast iron out, I thought it would be a shame to not put a nice sear on the meat before roasting, so sear I did. I then roasted it for the two hours with the fat side up. Once all roasted and gorgeous, I removed the roast to a cutting board to rest and deglazed the pan with a little dry white wine. I reserved the marinade in a small sauce pan, added the pan drippings and wine, and after bringing it to a boil for a minute or so, used it as a sauce drizzled over the pork. A heavenly aroma filled the house while the pork was roasting, and the beautiful mahogany color of the finished roast would have been spectacular in a platter for company (I must confess that I didn't take this extra step for our Monday night family dinner). The only thing I will change when making this again in the future is to shorten the cooking time a bit and pull the roast at an internal temperature of 160.
Chris C's (mother's) Pork Roast
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4-pound) pork loin roast
1 cup barbeque sauce (optional- we don't think you need it)
In a small bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, celery seed, pepper, and garlic. Place pork loin roast in a large plastic resealable bag and pour marinade over pork loin. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove roast from bag, place in a roasting pan, and discard marinade. Roast pork loin at 325 degrees F for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or to an internal temperature registers 160 to 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer. Serve with BBQ sauce.
A couple of kitchen tips:
Waste not, want not- when I was gathering my ingredients to make dinner, I found half a strip steak left from dinner a few nights ago. Not having any plans to eat it any time soon, but not wanting to waste it, I diced it up and put it in a small zippered sandwich bag. I labeled/dated it and tossed it into the freezer to add to a pot of soup on a later date (and with this weather that could be pretty soon). I keep a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer to collect these little bags of goodies as they occur.
Asparagus- if you don't use asparagus spears the same day you buy them, they tend to dehydrate a bit in the veggie drawer. The morning I am going to use them, I will snap off the tough bottoms, plop the spears into a glass of cold water, and let them sit until I am ready to use them. The spears plump back up nicely, all the better for your cooking efforts.