Company's Coming - Looking for a Roast Pork Recipe that will blow guests away. . . would you share one?
I have one that's obscenely easy and lazy and goes against all my food and dietary impulses. It's always the first dish to be finished at any buffet or dinner, no matter how many other things are served. I think I remember it correctly, it was in the NY Times Magazine years ago.
Into a prepared Reynold's cooking bag place a 4-5 lb. boneless pork loin roast, put 1 cup of brown sugar on top, pour over 1/2 C white wine, and add 1 cup each of dried apples, prunes and apricots. Cook til desired doneness; I cook pork on the rarish side, YMMV. It's easy to make and looks beautiful in the center of a large platter sliced, surrounded with a ring of rice over which the sauce and fruit are arranged.
I stuff my pork loin roast with dried prunes that have been soaked in brandy. Sometimes I also include bread crumb stuffing with sage and onion. Just poke a long thin knife through the long end of the loin, twist it and start stuffing in the prunes until you can't get anymore in. Roast as usual on the rare side and let rest. It makes a spectacular presentation when sliced. I usuallly brine the roast also. I put the usual aromatic vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan along with a few chopped up prunes. You can make a wonderful sauce while your roast is resting. Never fails to get oohs and aahhs when it is presented at table. Sometimes accompanied with granny smith apple slices that have been pan roasted until carmelized on one side. Good luck!
For Christmas I made a pork roast that got rave reviews, even from my MIL. I got a rack of pork frenched from a local butcher. I just used a basic garlic & herb rub with olive oil.
5lb pork roast
1/3 cup olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste. I think I used about 1 TBSP salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper.
I let the roast come to room temperature with the rub all over it. Maybe 45 minutes out of the fridge. Then roasted at 425 until it hit 150 degrees on the probe thermometer, maybe a bit less than 2 hours.
With pork, the trick is to mind the temperature with a probe thermometer. Anything over 160 degrees will give you shoe leather.
My absolute favorite in the whole world is Marcella Hazan's Pork Roast with Vinegar and Bay leaves:
Roast Pork with Vinegar and Bay Leaves
for 6 servings
* 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
l teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
½ cup good red wine vinegar
1. In a heavy-bottomed or enameled cast-iron pot, put in butter and oil. Turn stove on to medium-high; when the butter foam subsides, put in the pork. Brown deeply, turning when each side is done.
2. Add salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and vinegar. Turn heat to low, cover the pot and cook, turning the meat occasionally. If liquid evaporates, add ¼ cup water.
3. When cooked through -- 40-60 minutes -- transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let sit for a few minutes, then slice. Meanwhile, remove bay leaves, add 2 tablespoons of water, and heat the gravy. Pour over the pork and serve.
I have been making this for over 25 years, and can't say enough good things about this recipe. It makes the house smell wonderful, it tastes delicious, and if there are any leftovers, they make the best pulled pork sandwiches when you add a homemade barbecue sauce.
The only type of pork roast I care for is one made with bone-in rack of pork. I buy them at Costco. Until recently I would just season with s&p and rosemary, sear, then cook per pkg instructions, but recently I tried the CI Tuscan-Style Roast Pork at it was wonderful. The extra effort was worth it as the flavor was throughout the meat.
If you've got a crowd (or just want a great presentation and want lots of leftovers) a whole fresh ham done as a porchetta is pretty dazzling. Just don't listen to people who say to cook it to an internal temp of 190 - 200 like i did. Treat it the same as a loin & take it out at 160* or so. See thread elsewhere for details.
Zuni cookbook has a good recipe, though they use shoulders (which in fact should be taken to the higher temp).
Might this appeal?
It was my first shot at the Zuni Standing Rib Roast of Pork which I've since made several times. Take note that the photo linked to the review was taken of leftovers, so was considerably dryer (although still really delicious) than what I served to company.