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Kitchen Witch
April 20th, 2009, 10:00 AM
How to cook pork roast

Pork - Roasts - general information

Pork Roasts
Generally a larger cut that is used to serve several people. Roasts can range in size from as small as 2 lbs. up to 20 lbs. or more. They are available from almost all the primal cuts and vary in tenderness and leanness, depending on the cut they are taken from. Most are available bone-in or boneless and some are available cured, smoked and fully cooked, but generally they are purchased fresh.


Blade Boston Roast
Sometimes called Boston butt roast, this roast is from the shoulder primal cut. The roast is tender and it contains a fair amount of fat which keeps the meat moist and provides good flavor to the meat when it is cooked.


Shoulder Blade Roast
A roast from the shoulder primal cut, which is fairly tender and flavorful. This roast is cut from the section of the shoulder closest to the blade end of the loin. It is marbled with a fair amount of fat which keeps the meat moist and provides good flavor to the meat when cooked.


Boneless Shoulder Roll
A boneless shoulder roll is a roast from the blade shoulder. The bones are removed and the meat is rolled and place in a string type bag, which remains on the roast as it is cooked to hold the shape of the roll. The boneless shoulder roll is available fresh, or cured and smoked.


Picnic Roast
Sometimes called arm roast, this roast is a fresh cut that comes from the shoulder primal cut and it contains more fat than the blade Boston roast. A well trimmed roast provides a very rich flavor when roasted. Often this cut is smoked and then it is referred to as a picnic ham, although it is not a true ham. This cut is economically priced.


Blade Loin Roast
Bone In
Boneless
Sometimes called rib end roast, this roast is cut from the end of the loin closest to the shoulder. It is leaner than the shoulder roasts but contains more fat than the other roasts cut from the center cut or sirloin end of the loin. It is available bone in and boneless.



Crown Roast
The crown roast is an elegant roast made from two center cut racks of ribs, which are bent to form a circle and then tied together with the bones facing out. The two racks are tied together with string to hold their shape and then the bones are frenched at the top so that at least one inch of bone is exposed. This roast generally must be special ordered and is priced higher than other roasts.



Center Cut Loin Roast
Boneless
A lean and tender fresh roast taken from the middle of the loin primal cut. It is considered one of the prime cuts of pork. It contains part of the backbone, which adds flavor but makes it harder to carve. The bones are sometimes frenched on this roast to make it easier to slice after cooking. When this is done it is called a rack of pork. This roast is frequently boned to make it easier to carve when cooked. The bones are sometimes tied to the roast to add flavor while cooking and they are then removed to carve. The rack of pork and the boneless roast will generally cost more and need to be special ordered.



Rack of Pork
A rack of pork is a center cut loin roast that has had the bones frenched, which makes it easier to cut after it is cooked. You can french the roast yourself or you can have it special ordered already frenched. A special ordered frenched roast will generally cost more than an unfrenched roast.



Sirloin Roast
A roast cut from the sirloin end of the loin, which is the end closest to the hind leg. It is a fairly lean roast but contains part of the backbone and hipbone, which makes it harder to carve. Economically priced.



Fresh Ham Roast
A roast, cut from the leg/ham primal cut, which has not been cured or smoked. It is lean and flavorful but because of its location on the pig, the ham roast is generally not as tender as the other cuts and its bone structure makes it more difficult to carve. A cut from the top of the leg is sometimes called a top leg roast or an inside roast and a roast from the bottom portion is called a shank roast or leg roast.



Look and Feel
Looking at and feeling the cut of pork can give you information that the label will not provide. When shopping for a lean cut of pork, inspect the piece to see if it is well trimmed of excess fat around the edges and that it does not have a lot of fat running through it. However, it is desirable to have some marbling running through the meat to provide added flavor and tenderness. When selecting a whole ham or shoulder a visual inspection will be difficult because you will not be able to see any of the inside area of the cut. Pork today is raised much leaner that it was years ago so it is not as much of a problem to find lean cuts. The meat of the cut you are selecting should be pink with a white to grayish tint of coloring and have a fine-grained texture. Meat from the loin is generally lighter in color than the meat from the shoulder or leg. The meat should be firm to the touch, look moist but not slimy wet, and it should not emit any foul odors. The fat on the outer edges should be creamy white and be blemish free. If the fat has a yellowish tint, it is old and probably close to being spoiled. The package the cut is contained in should be cool to the touch and free of any holes or tears.



To roast your pork:

Combine herbs in 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil; mix well. After rinsing your roast and drying with paper towels; "massage" herbed mixture over entire roast; place in rack or in roasting pan.

Make sure that the side with pork fat is facing up. If you do not have a rack, one made from coiled sheets of tin foil will do.

Next, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place the pork in it. The rack should be at the center of your oven. Let the pork cook for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 250 degrees.

Let the pork cook for another 50 to 80 minutes. The cooking time depends on the pork roast's shape and size. Use a meat thermometer to determine if the pork has reached 150 degrees. This means that the pork is ready.

Carefully take the roast out of the oven and cover it with foil. After 15 minutes, you can slice and serve the pork roast.



Stuffed Loin Roast with Beer Sauce

3 pounds double pork loin roast
15 shredded wheat crackers
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seed -- divided
2 teaspoons brown sugar -- divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons beer
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For stuffing, crush crackers to form 2/3 cup crumbs. Stir together crumbs, onion, horseradish, 1 teaspoon caraway seed and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Add 2 tablespoons beer; toss to mix.

Untie roast. Pat stuffing mixture on one of the loins. Place second loin on top; re-tie to secure. Place in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in 325ºF oven for 65-75 minutes or until done, internal temperature reaches 155-160ºF and meat is just slightly pink in center. Remove roast from pan.

Deglaze roasting pan with the 1/2 cup remaining beer. Strain into small saucepan. Stir together water, cornstarch, bouillon granules, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed. Stir into beer in saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute more. Slice roast to serve. Serve with Beer Sauce.



Pork Roast with Mustard Sauce

1 tbs sage
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbs soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dijon mustard
5 pounds boneless pork loin roast

Combine 1st 5 ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Place roast, fat side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Spread w/ mustard mixture. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 2 -2 1/2 hours or until 160 degree internal temperature. Serve w/ Honey Apples.

Honey Apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs vinegar

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch thick slices; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in large saucepan; bring to boil. Add apples, reduce heat and simmer approx 10minutes. Serves 10-12.