Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Spice Pork Roast


With the rainy weather, I find myself braising/slow cooking meat a lot more and this pork roast is so flavorful and ridiculously easy I find myself making it a few times a month now.  You can use a pork shoulder, butt, or picnic roast for this recipe--they all work, so just get what's priced best and get it from a local producer if you can (This one is a shoulder).  There's a fantastic "gravy" that results from this and we use it to drown all the roast veggies that we make to accompany this dish--pictured are some Japanese sweet potato coins.

5 Spice Pork Roast

1 2-3lb. pork roast (I made 2 at a time once for a larger group--same cooking time, twice the meat!)
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp. pork lard--get this from a butcher if you can, try to avoid the tubs in the dairy case.
salt
pepper
Chinese Five Spice blend (get it pre-made or make your own)

Preheat your oven to 300.  Season all sides of the roast with salt, pepper and five spice in equal amounts, no need to create a thick layer, but definitely don't be shy.  In a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat the lard on med high heat until hot but not smoking.  Brown the roast on all sides--be sure to keep the heat up for this and keep the meat moving in the pan so it doesn't burn but gets nice and crispy on the outside.  When the roast is looking done, turn off the heat and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock--you can keep the roast in the pan, just be sure to loosen up all the bits in the pan.  You want the liquid to reach maybe an inch up the side of the meat.  If you have used a dutch oven just go ahead and put the lid on and put in the oven and cook 1.5 hours for a 2 lb. roast and add 30 min. for each additional pound.  When you pull the roast from the oven, it can sit for a little bit. Remove the roast from the pan, and you are left with the gravy/sauce.  Skim the fat off with a spoon by tilting the pan and just taking off the top layer and reserve (maybe you can cook tomorrow's eggs, or sauté your veg in the fat!).  Slice the roast into servings and make sure to cover it all with the sauce. 

If you need to use a slow cooker, after browning, put the pork in the slow cooker, deglaze the pan then pour the liquid into the slow cooker.  Set on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

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