10 December 2012

Pork Roast

A few years back I was in Galway over Thanksgiving, and in lieu of preparing a Turkey and trying to defend my national holiday ("so... it's a holiday to celebrate the destruction of the Indians?"), I skipped the whole traditional meal and instead cooked a pork roast. This was my first foray into roasting pork with an attempt at the beloved and much sought after crispy crackling layer of fat atop it. The meat on the occasion of my Irish Thanksgiving was cooked perfectly, but unfortunately the fat remained blubbery and not at all crisp. Not sure what I did, but it was another year+ before I tried it again. 
This time I read up on my crackling. I learned there are various methods for creating the sought after crispy pig skin -- from searing the whole roast on the stove-top before putting it in the oven, one that called for mountains of salt rubbed into the skin, a method involving high temperatures at the beginning of cooking, or those that insist upon high temperatures at the finish.  I opted for roasting the meat at the highest temperature I could get my oven to, figuring this would be similar to searing the meat in a pan, and then lowering the oven to let porky continue cooking. 
This ended up being a really easy and satisfying roast supper that involves few ingredients. I served it up with a meltingly rich cabbage made with a touch of cream and mustard, and didn't even bother with a gravy other than a dribbling of the juices from the pan. 
Pork Roast
Serves 4

1 2 1/2-3 pound Pork Roast
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of parsley -- chopped fine (about 2 heaping tablespoons once chopped)
Handful of oregano -- removed from stems and chopped fine (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
coarse sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 475 F or highest temperature. Line a large roasting tin, enough to fit pork, with aluminum foil. Score the top of the roast in a diagonal pattern, and rub olive oil around the top and bottom/sides, then rub the garlic and herbs around the top and sides, pressing some of the mixture into the scores against the meat. 

Place in oven and cook at high heat for 15-20 minutes until the top of the meat is a golden brown. Lower the temperature to 350 F and roast for another 40 minutes or until internal temperature with an instant read meat thermometer indicates 145 degrees.  Let the meat rest for approximately 5 - 10 minutes, carve and serve. *

*Note, some resting asks for a "tin foil tent" -- I wouldn't do that with this roast as I believe the steam created between the meat and tinfoil would dampen the crispy skin. 

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