Sunday, November 18, 2012

Casserole-Roasted Pork with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I realized I goofed this recipe up when I was getting ready to put it in the oven. I had made a gross error at the very beginning of the recipe, omitting the dry rub, or Flavor Step, instead substituting with the finishing seasonings. Doh! It turned out okay, it was edible, but it didn't have the flavor explosion I'm continuously seeking. I bet it would've had I not boogered it up.

The pork was also supposed to be netted, but I didn't ask the butcher to do this for me and I didn't bother utilizing my new twine skillz. Fortunately, that part wasn't completely critical. The print link below assumes you'll use the dry rub.

Casserole-Roasted Pork with 40 Cloves of Garlic
adapted from The Complete Meat Cookbook and available here
click to print

Flavor Step
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 ½ lb boneless pork
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
40 whole garlic cloves
1 tsp chopped fresh or dry rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp salt or needed amount
1 tsp black pepper or needed amount

Combine the Flavor Step ingredients, the herbs, paprika, salt, and pepper, in a small bowl.

Rub the seasonings all over the meat. Let it rest, loosely covered, for 1 hour at room temperature before cooking.

Before rubbing the meat with the wrong ingredients, the rosemary and sage that was supposed to finish the dish, I chose to trim off a lot of the fat cap. And after rubbing with the seasonings, I let my pork marinate for two hours instead of one.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.

Brown the meat on all sides.

I realized I'd forgotten to salt and pepper the pork. So I did that before throwing it into the skillet.

You want to aim for less than 10 minutes a side unless you want blackening. Something like 4 minutes a side is enough.

Transfer it to a casserole just large enough to hold it.

Pour off the oil from the pan and add the wine and stock. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

My stock was still a little frozen.

Pour the liquid over the roast and scatter the garlic cloves and herbs in the casserole.

Right here, I was like, "Huh? What herbs?" And then, "Oh. Crap."

Cover with foil and then cover tightly with a lid.

Place the pot in the middle of the oven and cook for about 1 hour. Check the meat, which should be tender and register 160° to 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

My pork was in the oven 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remove the roast and keep it warm, loosely covered with foil. After resting for 10 minutes, the final temperature will be 170° to 175°F.

Or about 170.8°F after 2 minutes.

Pour the pan juices and garlic into a small saucepan.

Remove any grease from the surface and taste for salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.

I find degreasing with the fat separator incredibly effective. Beats that skimming with a spoon business by miles.

Carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon the sauce and garlic cloves over the meat and serve.

Again, not the flavor explosion I had expected and it was completely my fault for not looking at the recipe more closely before I started. While not a disgusting failure in every measure of the word, it is still a fail. That said, the pork was perfectly tender (my having blackening one side of the roast at the start didn't have a noticeably negative effect) and the garlic was great. I recommend having some crusty bread, say a boule, to sop up the juices and smear the garlic on.

  • boneless pork: $7.42
  • olive oil: $0.24
  • dry white wine: $1.50
  • chicken stock: $0.08
  • garlic cloves: $2
Total: $11.24 or about $1.87 for each of six servings.