Apr 8, 2008

Brined Pork Roast with Risotto

I bought a pork roast on sale at the grocery store a few weeks ago. I had no idea what to do with it. Roasts are another item that I have not yet conquered. Being off of school has helped in the conquering foods department. I'm sure James is wishing I would start conquering house issues now! :)Anyway, back to the pork. I read at Culinary Infatuation about brining first. So I did that on Monday evening. Then I did more research today and came across this recipe/how-to. And pretty much followed their directions. I didn't add as many spices to my rub, though.

Brined Pork Roast with Simple Rub

Brine:
1 gallon cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. peppercorns
2 sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage Omitted
3 garlic cloves, crushed

1. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the boiling water and add to cold water.
2. Add rosemary and sage. Let water cool completely before adding pork.
3. Add pork and put in the refrigerator overnight.
4. When ready to use, rinse and pat dry.

Rub:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
salt
pepper
1 tbsp. dried rosemary

1. Score pork in places with a sharp knife.
2. Mix ingredients and rub over pork.

Cooking: from How to Cook a Pork Roast

1. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, fat side up.
2. If you don't have a rack you could coil some tin foil and use that as a rack.
3, Put the roast in the 450 degree preheated oven. The hot temperature is going to give the roast a nice golden color.
4. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
5. When the timer goes off re-set the oven temperature to 250 degrees. (I ended up turning it to 350 for the last 15 minutes or so. It was taking too long!)
6. Continue cooking for about 50-80 minutes or until the meat registers 150 degrees on a meat thermometer. Some roasts are long and thin and others are short and fat, consequently the cooking times will vary depending on the shape of your roast. The meat thermometer is the best way to judge the right amount of cooking time.
7. Remove the roast from the oven and set on a cutting board.
8. Cover the meat with tin foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing it.
9. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise about another 5 degrees.
Like a total doof, I didnt sear the pork first and it wasn't getting great color. So, after I took it out, I wiped my risotto pan clean and seared the pork AFTER cooking it. I'm sure this is a no-no, but it worked for me!! I made a quick pan sauce with the brown bits and red wine. It was very good.
James didn't love this meal, but he's not all about pork. I thought it was delicious, though. :)



Risotto with mushrooms and peas
I used this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis but modified it slightly. The cookbook version, which I used, and the Food Network version vary slightly. The FN version is below with my modifications in red.

8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms Omitted
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tbsp.
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped 8 oz. baby bella's
2 garlic cloves, minced 3 cloves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice 1 cup
2/3 cup dry white wine I used red, it's what I had open.
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan.
2. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.
4. Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil.
5. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes.
6. Add the white mushrooms and garlic.
7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board.
8. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan.
9. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.
10. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes.
11. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
12. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
13. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth).
14. Stir in the peas.
15. Mix in the Parmesan.
16. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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