So my original plan for tonight's dinner was to do something fun and fabulous with the remaining Pork shoulder that I hadn't turned into yummy pork tacos last week.
I was researching different things to do with the porky goodness, when I ventured to remove it from the fridge. It had gone bad. I didn't realize that pork could go bad so quickly. I was used to chicken, which you can put in the fridge for a week and it's ok. But, this huge hunk of pork was not ok. I had to throw it out.
This wouldn't have been such a huge problem if my dearest Kristin wasn't coming over for dinner tonight!! So I ran to the store next door, which thankfully has really really ghetto pricing, and bought a pork loin roast. It was kind of fab. I used a combination of a Tyler Florence recipe and a Nigella Lawson recipe, because among other things, I've never cooked roast pork before. I had mixed Tyler's rub before I bought the smaller roast, so I went for it, even though Tyler's rub is for pork shoulder, which means tougher meat out of which one needs to coax juices. It had a lot of salt in it. So, I rubbed it all over the pork, and set it to marinate like Nigella and Tyler recommended. I roasted it according to Nigella's instructions, although eventually I needed to pour some water into the roasting pan because things were getting a little dry. But in the end, it was pretty delicious and I'm sure that if I were to do something else, like butterfly it, rub the inside with flavored butter and herbs, and then tie it up and roast it with the butter stuff on the outside too, it'd be even better. The flavor didn't appear to soak into the meat all that much. I didn't slit the meat to allow the flavor to get in. I'm nto sure what the real issue was But basically, I'm ok with it. And we had mashed tatoes, and salad, and I got to see my girl for a while and talk. It was good.
Roast Pork a la Tyler and Nigella
Tyler Florence's marinade:
4 pasted garlic cloves (I used my microplane)
A handful of oregano (I used parsley since I didn't have oregano fresh) chopped up fine.
A tablespoon of salt for each pound of the meat.
A tablespoon of coarsely grated black pepper
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Nigella Lawson's marinade:
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 pasted garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
6 bruised peppercorns
6 crumbled bay leaves
In both cases, you rub the marinade all over the meat, contain it, and leave it to sit for as long as you can. Tyler recommends cutting slits about an inch deep into the fatty part of your pork shoulder, and I would also recommend doing this if you've got a pork loin roast, to let the flavors get more inside the meat. It was probably too salty, although all the salt created much juiciness. Pork just doesn't really taste like much without some flavorant.
So once the marinating was done, I used Nigella's roasting method, although I have a bone to pick with it.
She says to slice up 1 onion and put it in the bottom of the roasting pan, and then put 10 bay leaves on top of the onion, and the pork on top of that. Then, you roast for an hour and 45 minutes, at 400 degrees, basting regularly with "pan juices".
#1 - my onion burned up.
#2 - I had no pan juices. Maybe this is a result of the salty marinade crust thing. Maybe I should have added 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. But there was nothing with which to baste this sucker. So I had to just pour in some water eventually, to keep the onions fron burning so badly that they set off my smoke alarm or made the porky goodness taste like burning. I welcome any and all input for why the hell this happened.
Regardless, once the pork came out an hour and a half later, it was juicy and tender and the juices ran out and created a lovely little jus thingie that I spooned over the pork and the mashed potatoes to feed my hungry friend and my love.
And now I've said good night to my friend, and taken out the smelly trash. My fridge no longer stinks, and I'm much happier about all the rest of this stuff. Now.... to bed, and byebye till tomorrow!!!