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Oct 8, 2007 07:36 AM

Pork Roast

A friend was complaining that she can't get a chop to cook right and I mentioned the lack of fat. She ,mentioned her Mom made the best Pork roast that melted in her mouth.

We found a pork shoulder with the skin still on it. I've made these before, but want to be able to give her a kick-butt way to do this. Any suggestions?

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  1. Can't someone offer any suggestions?

    1. I always brine pork chops for a few hours before cooking and they turn out very moist and tender. You could do the same with a pork roast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Divamac

        If you plan on actually eating the skin (which they do in Europe) do not brine!!!! `you want it crispy. store with plenty of air circulation. if you can't, then salt and dab to draw out some of the moisture. definately score in 1-inch or so increments.

        If you don't plan on eating the skin, do make sure to let the roast come fully to room temperatures before roasting it. Otherwise, the outside will get dry before the inside has the chance to cook. and let rest 10 mins after its out

        I find with this sort of pork I don't need it covered at any point in the cooking process. the fat plus skin does the job.

      2. I am not sure of your question. A pork chop is not the same as a roast. I recall that Cook's Illustrated, maybe a year ago, ran a cook/taste test of cooking good moist chops.

        Yes, when pork went to the other "white meat", like beef, when the fat was bred out so was alot of taste. If you have a Asian store you can buy meat in, for sure buy your meat there!

        And I have found at a few stores, SMALL, pork shoulders, skin on, 5 lbs and under. Wonderful.

        My pork shoulder roast, is room temp, dried after a good rinse. I half or quarter quite a few cloves of garlic, then after making deep slits into the roast, shove a piece of garlic in. I have used a chopstick to poke it as deep as I could. I am generous with my garlic.

        Then I do give some slashes to the skin, give a light olive oil massage to the roast, crack pepper and coarse salt over all. Into a hot oven to seal up that baby, then a Slow long low roast.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          That is the info I was looking for! What temps do you suggest?

          1. re: nosey

            I start high 400-425 degrees and then lower it to 325 to finish. Depending on size and skin, the high stage is about 20 minutes, then finish to temp. Don't forget the resting time before carving either.

          2. re: Quine

            Interestingly, I just received this issue of Cooks Illustrated in the mail. I checked for a date and there is none! Does this mean that it is not a magazine, as I had thought, but a series of pamphlets?

            They make several points about cooking pork chops. First, you need bone-in chops, then they should be placed in a cold pan and cooked over low heat. If you need them browned, it will be necessary to sugar them.

            With regard to pork shoulder, Cooks recommends long, slow cooking. It is often used to make pulled pork.

            1. re: JohnnyT

              We only buy bone in pork chops, thick. We season with Kosher salt, freshly ground Tellicherry pepper, cayenne, sometimes a squirt of lemon or lime juice.... them cook them on an indoor grill pan, medium hot, not oiled.... sear on one side then flip and sear on the other. Turn down flame to med, low and finish till cooked through about med. rare. They always finish nice and juicy, and need no sauce or gravy.

              1. re: JohnnyT

                No -- it is a magazine. I think you got the "charter issue" that they did before they started publishing regularly. I think they still use it as a sample to promote subscriptions. They do the same with their new spin-off Cooks Country.

                1. re: JohnnyT

                  Generally, center cut loin pork chops stay moister. I brine my chops in cold water with white vinegar, salt and sugar for a few hours. Make sure you always DRY meat before seasoning and cooking. Especially if you're going to fry chops. Try seasoning chops with smoked paprika, a packet of Goya Sazon con Achiote & Cilantro, garlic powder and a little salt & pepper. I spray my frypan with cooking spray and heat first before adding oil. Always add oil to hot pan. It helps avoid sticking. Prepare a coating of equal parts flour, corn starch and matzo meal in a plastic bag. Shake a few chops at a time in coating and fry on medium in 1" of hot oil. Use tongs to handle meat. A fork stuck in cooking meat releases some of the moisture. Also, if you attempt to turn your chop and it seems "stuck" to the bottom of the pan, it means it has not cooked sufficiently to release itself. Use patience and hover. The resulting flavors are ridiculously excellent. Thin cut chops are especially succulent served with rice and beans. Try and report.

                2. re: Quine

                  I do something similar with a "Cuban" pork roast -- I made it once from a recipe years ago and now just throw it together. I do the slivers of garlic (I'm also generous with them) all over, but I marinate it over night in a mixture of chopped garlic, kosher salt, orange juice, and lemon juice. It sounds weird, but it give it a good flavor and does not actually taste like either fruit.

                3. Pork chops should be brined. I never need to brine them for hours. I usually have good, half-inch thick center cut chops and I brine them in an Alton Brown brine from his first book (I use bitter orange juice in the brine, instead of the juice he recommends). I only brine mine for about 45 mins, max.

                  They come out perfectly juicy and with a lovely flavor. :)

                  As for the pork roast, the trick to that is a nice fatty cut with connective tissue, then cooked low and slow in the oven for hours. I agree with other comments about scoring the fat, though. I'd only put salt and pepper on the skin, I love a nice crispy skin with salt and pepper on it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Morganna

                    Last November Cooks Illustrated did an herb-crusted pork roast that my husband did for a big family christmas dinner while I recovered from hand surgery (well timed, I might add). It was unbelievable.

                    I still have the recipe somewhere but check the Cooks Illustrated website.

                    1. re: Morganna

                      I have never brined anything in my life and we have pork chops at least 2-3 times a month and they are always tender and juicey. I love mine cut thick and then I stuff with some sauted carrots, onions, celery and bread crumb mixture. Then I coat them in bread crumbs and bake for about 20-25 minutes... they are delicious.

                    2. I don't usually roast a shoulder as it is too large for my family, but I could heartily reccommend Julia Child's Dry Salt Marinade followed by her Casserole Roasting technique for Roast Pork in General. I just made one last week with a spilt 7 bone roast (ie. the three larger ribs, saving the four smaller ribs in the freezer for later, had it cut this way by the butcher at the store), and as always it was succulent. By the way, she recommends the shoulder, so it should work for the cut you mentioned.