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Christmas Pork Roast ?

  • k

It's my turn to host Christmas dinner this year. I was thinking about doing a pork loin, since everyone is tired of turkey, ham for Easter and I can't afford a beef tenderloin. But cooking a pork roast inteminate's me. I am so scared that it will come out dry.Can anyone suggest a a recipe for pork that will come out nice and juicy with flavor. There are just to many recipes out there for me to pick just the right one. Thank You

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  1. For Xmas dinner last year, I made a roast pork loin stuffed w/ dried apricots and prunes--it was delicious and very easy! Kids and adults enjoyed it alike.

    I can't quite remember my recipe source, think it was from an old issue of Food & Wine. Found a similar recipe from Sara Moulton on foodnetwork.com that is linked below. Dif. is that she uses apricot chutney in addition to dried apricots (sounds good) and calls for a lot more prunes than I remember using. I also laid fresh thyme sprigs between the meat and twine. You can roast veggies in the pan or use the drippings as a base for gravy. If you don't like those fruits, then you can always use dried apples, figs, and the like. This is a very malleable dish, so don't be afraid to improvise.

    I served mine w/ braised red cabbage and apples, garlic mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots, and some sort of crunchy green veg. like string beans. Made a buche de noel for dessert from Saveur that was also a hit. Not a wine expert, but I think I served it w/ a pinot noir or merlot that was also used to deglaze the pan for gravy. If you prefer white, then seems like a Riesling/Alsatian wine might work.

    Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Carb Lover

      Noticed after my original post, that Sara's recipe doesn't instruct to sear the roast on all sides on the stovetop first. I would highly recommend doing this, as it seals in the juices and gives it a nice crust. I seem to remember cooking on slightly higher heat (375) than her recipe calls for. All of this will shorten the cooking time, but as long as you use your meat thermometer, you'll be fine.

    2. You can stuff it. I did this for the first time just last week, using mozzarella, bacon, spinach, mushrooms and zuchinni. I read many recipes, but found the link below to be outstanding in describing a general method, and then how to take into account different aspects of the cooking and possible ingredients.

      Good luck.

      Link: http://www.poubelle.com/butterpig/arc...

      1. Consider a fresh ham (uncured leg of pork); there was a thread below on it. The fat under the (eventually delectable) skin helps keep the meat moist; it's wonderful cut of meat, and where available, is often quite reasonable, sometimes even cheap.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Karl S.

          I second this. If there were going to be more people at my Christmas dinner I would certainly order a fresh ham. For juciness and melting meat it is hard to beat. I was thinking about a goose but maybe I will order the fresh ham. Cracklings! Yum!

          1. re: Candy

            Order a shank half of the ham if you want a smaller roast; as with legs generally, the shank (lower) half is better eatin, and easier to carve.

        2. Having already said I don't believe brining is the be all and end all of roasting, here's an place where it really does help. Use a turkey brine recipe (hunt below - there are lots) and brine the pork loin before roasting. Pat dry, coat with coarse salt, coarsely ground black pepper, maybe some rosemary, garlic, whatever. Roast until centre reaches 150o F. Let stand for about 10 minutes, during which time the centre temperature should reach 155. It will be done. And juicy. And delicious.

          1. Either a beef tenderloin or a boneless pork roast is easy to do. For the pork roast, buy panchetta sliced thinly and lay out on your surface and then highly season the roast and wrap in the panchetta and tie it up. Sear and roast in oven til internal thermometer reads 160 and then let it rest. made it last year and it was juicy and delicious. Good luck.

            1. c
              Chris in Vienna

              I make both a turkey and a pork loin for Thanksgiving every year. I usually grill my loin on the rotisserie until it registers 160 then rest it before slicing.

              I tie up the loin and will roast it in the oven the same way. Seasonings are simple: salt, pepper, dash of cumin, maybe rub a little sage or rosemary into the crevices. I've put full bore rubs on it before, but kind of like to keep it simple.

              A lot of people are really afraid of pork. They cook the hell out of it until it is well done. Modern pork can easily be safe at 160, slightly pink in the center, and full of juice. Of course you don't want the pork rare or medium rare, but medium well is fine for pork these days.

              I also like to get a good cut of pork loin with a good layer of thin fat all around and once grilled or roasted, have some nice crackling on it as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chris in Vienna

                Actually, trichnosis is killed at 137F (161F is salmonella point for poultry, not red meat); many fine chefs cook pork to 145-150 and let rest, with after-cooking raising the temp another 5 degrees.

              2. j
                Jennie Sheeks

                My husband & I volunteered to host Christmas at our house this year, and I'm doing a pork tenderloin also. Since the local markets sell small, inexpensive pork tenderloins, I decided to experiment ahead of time which is so unlike me. I did one stuffed with sauteed bacon, garlic & parsley a few weeks ago and even the leftovers were juicy and flavorful (internal temp was around 150) and I have one in the fridge right now marinating in sherry, coarse ground mustard, rosemary & brown sugar. I also wanted to try a couple of variations on the fruit & pork theme.

                From the first recipe a few weeks ago (and previous experiments) I can say that if your local markets carry organic-type tenderloins, they are generally more flavorful and juicy. From what I've found, they tend to be smaller, so I'll do a couple of small ones instead of one big one. For sides I'm planning on mashed potatoes, braised scallions in mustard cream sauce, some other green vegetable and maybe some warm, homemade applesauce.

                1. THANK YOU all for the great ideas ! I will let you know how it turns out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kim

                    Please note that tenderloin and loin are two different cuts as there wre responses addressing both these cuts. In case you aren't aware...