Garlic and Herb Pork Roast With Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, and Cooling Cucumber Cream


I pull the leaves off two sprigs of rosemary and two sprigs of oregano (about a loose 1/2 cup of herbage). I peel and mince 4 cloves of garlic.
Along with a few glugs of EVOO, some sea salt, and some cracked black pepper, I mix all this savory yumyum into a paste in a bowl.
Then I spread it liberally along what will be the inside of my meat-wad. See the strings laid out below? I’m going to fold this slab in half, encasing my herbaliciousness in the inside.
See? I slide this baby into a ziplock bag and set it in the fridge to marinate for a few hours (overnight will work, too). It’s going to take at least 2 hours to roast, so I take it out around 4:00 pm…
And get my roasting pan set to high heat with a few glugs of EVOO shimmering on the surface.
I’m going to sear every surface of my luscious wrapped pink pig, which will help it cook through to tender later. I leave the fat-cap for last. Bottom’s down!
Then cut side, using tongs to flip when the surface has caramelized to a lovely golden brown.
I even brown each tip, like so.
Finally, I press the sweet sweet slice of quivering pork skin onto the searing hot oiled surface of my pan. After a few moments, I flip it the final time.
The house has already started to spell amazing, and the beautiful bacony aromas released once fat hits heat is almost more than I can handle. Almost. The promise of porcine perfection to come keeps me in check.
Oh, I’ve nestled a few thick slices of white onion under my pork roast, because I don’t want the bottom to oversear before the meat can release some juices, and then I don’t want the bottom to stew in those juices too much. The onion elevates the roast while adding flavor. I wrap this in foil paper, and set into a…
Oven. It will bake for at least 2 hours; larger roasts will take longer, but for 2 people this is just the right size, and just the right amount of time to inhale the noxious tantalizing aromas before some sort of crazy sets in.
I make my cucumber yoghurt right away, because I want the flavors to blend. I start my peeling, then slicing…
Then chopping my cucumber.
I throw it into a bowl, along with my yoghurt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, some lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 that lemon, some sea salt, cracked black pepper…
And I mix it all well. I set this in the fridge, so all the flavors can come together. Which they do… oh, baby they do.
When my roast is almost done (pretty much right at the 1:45 mark), I prep my spuds by splitting them into quarters, and tossing them with lots of EVOO, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and another 1/2 cup of chopped fresh rosemary and oregano. We’re bringing the scent and savory of the pork and potatoes together by lacing them both with the same herb blend.
I spread these out on a sheet pan, and give them another healthy dose of EVOO, just to be sure they’re very heartily coated. I set this into the bottom shelf of my oven, right above the heating element, so that my edges will crust up nicely. You’ll see.
We purchased this lovely bottle of oregano scented white balsamic vinegar at O&Co. on Newbury Street. Tonight was the perfect time to break it out. Have you ever had french fries with vinegar? If not, I highly recommend it. This is the same concept.
I had set aside the large bowl in which I’d tossed my spuds; it was still coated with residual herbed EVOO, salt, and pepper. I’ve sliced my white onions into strips, and I toss them into this reservoir with another few healthy glugs of oil, and another handful of oregano leaves. Here’s where my vinegar comes in; I douse a healthy serving over this beautiful blend, stirring it all up very very well, soaking each each crisp slice of white root with dressing. Every few minutes or so, I toss it afresh; this reactive base quick-pickles my onion slices transforming the flavor from pungent to perky sweet.
For the last 10 minutes of cooking my roast, I remove the foil from the top to expose the skin to the heat. I can easily twist a wee bit of meat off with my fork, letting me know it is tender and perfectly ready to serve. I set the heat to 425°, then stick my roast back in the oven so the skin can crisp.
Meanwhile, my onions have pickled…
And I’ve layered my baby spinach over them…
Before I pour my spuds, sizzling oil and seared spices and all, over the whole pan.
I toss this very well, letting the hot potatoes and oil wilt my spinach, and blending the pickled onions over the whole batch.
My pork is ready to go: the fat cap is crisped and blistered, and the meat is fork-tender.
This hunk of lovemeat almost slices itself, and the herbage cleavage is like a vein of precious green flavor gold.
Topped with a cool cucumber cream, my thick, tender slabs of herbed rolled pork roast with crispy, savory skin are perfectly partnered with my snappy spuds and buttery greens. This is an elegant, delicious dinner that welcomes the first breezes of early spring through freshly re-opened windows. Light, fresh, and fantastic: I wish I could have you all over for dinner, because this was a company meal!


10.0 servings


Monday, April 11, 2011 - 11:54am


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