This recipe actually came to me from my mom but since I am the first to write it down and actually assign some time frame to the cooking process I’ll attach my name to it. Sorry Mom.
Bruce’s Garlic Roast Pork
Pork Shoulder/Butt Either boneless or bone-in. Leave the fat on!
1 Whole Head of Garlic Separated into individual peeled cloves
Salt and Pepper
Flour For Gravy
Milk/Cream For Gravy
Use a pork shoulder or pork butt, (same thing, different label) and leave all of the fat on it. It’s very important that you don’t try to use a leaner cut of meat like a pork loin. With the long cooking time it will end up being way too dry and you’ll end up throwing it away or feeding it to the dog if you do. You need all of the fat of a pork butt to keep it moist and flavorful. I like to use a boneless roast but bone-in will work fine.
I use a whole head of garlic cloves and put small, deep slits with a paring knife and stuff the cloves all over the roast. If the cloves are quite large I cut them in half.
Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper, put into a small covered roasting pan, fat side up and into a 400 degree oven for about 1 hour. A smaller pan just a little bigger than the roast is better to keep the juices from boiling away. Also, if you don’t cover the pan the juices will evaporate and the roast will be more dry. Remove from oven and pour off the accumulated juices and reserve. Put back into the oven for another hour. Remove and pour off juices if there are any, (Save for gravy) and flip it over so the fat side is down. You may have to push some of the garlic cloves back into their holes. Reduce the heat to 350 and cook for another hour. I start checking the roast about 1 hour 45 minutes into the cooking time. If the juices have completely evaporated and it looks like the bottom is going to burn I’ll add maybe a half cup of water.
Check the roast at the end of the second hour and if it’s nicely browned, crusty and falls apart easily when probed with a fork, it’s done. It should be fall apart tender to the center. If it’s still not quite that tender in the middle cook a little more until it is. It’s really hard to screw this up unless you under cook it or use the wrong cut of meat. Because of the long cooking time you really need the extra fat to keep it moist.
This is the most succulent meat I’ve ever eaten. It’s great by itself but you can also make a great gravy from the reserved fat and juices. I separate as much of the fat as I can from the juices. The amount will vary so the amount of gravy you make will also vary. I also remove the roast from the pan and deglaze the pan over medium heat on the stove with a little bit of water or milk and a wooden spatula. In another pan, (I like a cast iron skillet for this) I heat up several TBS. of the reserved pork fat over medium heat. I add an equal amount of flour to the fat and make a roux. I like to brown the roux a little by stirring it constantly. Don’t let it burn or it will be bitter. I then add the reserved juices/deglazing liquid, stirring rapidly with a whisk. You’ll need to add either milk or cream or a combination of the two. The gravy will thicken as it cooks and just continue to add more milk/cream until the desired consistency is reached. Taste it and add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste.
This recipe goes great with mashed potatoes, (plenty of real cream and real butter!) or some small red potatoes. Green beans seem to perfect here too.
There are plenty of ways to use this roasted pork other than just eating it with gravy on it. I have used it many times to make the best carnitas I’ve ever eaten. Pull the pork apart with a fork and you hands into bite sized chunks and then fry in a skillet in a little bit of oil until the pieces are nice and golden brown. You can then either stuff them into your favorite tortillas as a taco or it makes great burritos or enchiladas. Yumm!