Monday, April 25, 2011

No Ifs, Ands or (Pork) Butts!

Easter sounds like a holiday that calls for a roast, so it was the perfect opportunity to break out my latest copy of Cooking for Two and turn to the "One Big Roast, Three Great Meals" chapter. This time I chose Slow-Roasted Pork with Peach Sauce, which is supposed to be followed by Cuban Sandwiches, Spicy Mexican Pork Stew with Hominy, and Pork Fried Rice. The recipe calls for a roast large enough to accommodate all three of those leftover recipes, but they're not all Bill-friendly. Cuban sandwiches are a big no-no because there are condiments involved, and I highly doubt hominy is on Bill's list of favorites. (The pork fried rice, on the other hand, is on that list.)

Luckily, there are TONS of other Test Kitchen recipes that require pork, so I've already found a few more that will takes the place of the ones Bill won't like. Tomorrow, for example, we'll have pork empanadas. Yum!

Slow Roasted Pork with Peach Sauce
1 (6 to 8 lb.) bone-in pork butt
1/3 cup brown sugar
Kosher salt
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
 sprig fresh thyme

Using a sharp knife, cut slits 1 inch across in crosshatch pattern in fat cap of roast, being careful not to cut into meat. Combine brown sugar and 1/3 cup kosher salt, then rub mixture over entire roast and into slits. Wrap roast tightly in double layer of plastic wrap, place on rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat V-rack with cooking spray and set inside large roasting pan. Unwrap roast, brush any extra salt mixture from surface, and season with pepper. Place roast on prepared V-rack and pour 1 quart water into roasting pan.

Cook meat, basting twice during cooking, until meat is extremely tender and registers 190 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 6 hours. Transfer roast to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 1 hour. Pour liquid from roasting pan into fat separator. Let jus settle for 5 minutes, then pour off and reserve 2 tablespoons defatted jus.

Bring reserved 2 tablespoons defatted jus, peaches, wine, sugar, vinegar, and thyme to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 3/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Off heat, remove thyme and cover sauce to keep warm.

Using sharp paring knife, cut around inverted T-shaped bone and pull free from roast. Using serrated knife, slice roast. Serve, passing sauce.

This was hands down the BEST roast I've ever made. I'm not sure exactly what it was that made it so delicious, but the meat was moist and tender (I took my 5.6-pound roast out of the oven after a little more than 4 hours), and it formed a perfectly crunchy, salty crust (I love the crusty, burnt bits best). I may have to find more excuses - besides holidays - to make this delicious dish. It's one amazing meal that has endless possibilities to turn into more awesome dinners! Stay tuned for my leftover recipes :)


  1. With peaches!! You're on a roll here.. all these additions to sweeten up the pork dishes are great. What did you serve with this?

    There seems to be an allusive art to roasting and grilling-- anything involving meat. Something you can't simply put an explanation of in a recipe. Experience helps too, of course. In terms of cooking challenges, it seems the most challenging of all. I think you're just becoming a master ;)

  2. So I made a corn spoon bread to go with our Easter roast. I was excited about it because it was a souffle-like dish and the picture looked so yummy ... but I have to admit that I like my typical cornbread casserole better (which is made with canned corn and boxed cornbread mix!). I'm not sure what it was, but the spoon bread just seemed to be missing something. It wasn't as sweet and delicious as I expected it to be ... just sort of disappointingly bland.