Roasting became an obsession of mine last fall when I was busy and overwhelmed with the baby. Roasting dinner in the oven was as effortless as throwing ingredients in the crockpot, just with a tastier, richly caramelized end product. Now that the leaves are beginning to die in a riot of color, I’m back to my roasting habits with a vengeance, and nothing lends itself better to roasting than a large chunk of pork.
This recipe works for a pork loin or a pork shoulder. The bone just adds to the moistness of the roast and decreases the price of the meat. Give it a good rub and throw it in the oven to work its magic. Then deglaze the pan in time for dinner.
As you can tell from the two first ingredients, brown sugar and balsamic, salty sweet is a combination we love in our family. But if sweet is not your thing, feel free to deglaze with a little mustard and chicken stock, or some onions and balsamic. Think of the roast pork as your canvas, with the deglazing liquids and aromatics as your watercolors. You can even go crazy with dark coffee or ketchup as part of your sauce. When you’re starting with a nice hunk of roast pork, it’s hard to go wrong.
So this Sunday, if you’re looking to get a head start on the week’s menu, or the next time you’re looking around the kitchen, feeling totally uninspired about dinner, throw a little roast in the oven, and postpone your sauce decision. I guarantee that you’ll get inspired by the smells wafting out as the roast cooks, and when it comes time to deglaze, you’ll feel as though you belong on the Food Network.
- 1 pork loin or shoulder roast, bone-in, about 5 pounds
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- salt and pepper
- For the Glaze:
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub pork roast all over with cut sides of the garlic; sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place roast in a roasting pan. Roast for 2 hours.
- Combine glaze ingredients in a saucepan; blend well. Stir over medium-low heat until bubbly. Set aside.
- Brush with glaze (see below) and continue roasting for about 30 minutes longer, or until pork registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. when a meat thermometer is inserted into a meaty part of the roast (not touching bone). Feel free to glaze a few times in this period to get a better caramelization.
- Pour the pan drippings in a bowl and serve alongside the meat.