Saturday, March 06, 2010

Low and Slow

Choreboy is a marvelous husband who (wisely) is highly appreciative of everything I cook for him. Well, there was that one time where my brain died and I forgot finishing butter had salt in it, which totally destroyed two tilapia fillets -- spectacularly awful fail there -- but other than that? He's not turned up his nose at anything I've put in front of him.

He mentioned that this weekend he wouldn't mind pork roast. I started thinking pressure cooker, but then he clarified that he'd kind of like it roasted in the oven.


Full disclaimer here, folks: I have been scared to pieces of roasting meats in my oven. I'll bake in there like nobody's business, but being able to cook a good roast in the oven? Nope, not there yet. I do most of my meat cooking in the pressure cooker. It's easy, it's fast, and it consistently delivers an excellent result.

My oven? Not so much.

So I did what I always do in these situation and consulted those much wiser than I:
The People of teh Intranets

Turns out that low and slow isn't just for barbecuing -- you can do it in your own oven at home, too! Yeah I know, I'm a dork... but I've dealt with so much barbecue TV and so forth that I had it in my mind "low and slow" was synonymous with "ginormous black barrel-shaped grill".

There were variations on this theme, but the most consistent advice I saw was to blast the meat at a higher temperature until it developed a good crust, then lower the temperature to a ridiculous level for eight to nine hours.

Holy cow.

So last night I got out my Boston Butt pork roast, all 7+ pounds of that sucker, rinsed it, and patted it dry. Then I rubbed an herb paste I'd made all over it (I dumped together a bunch of granulated garlic, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, and a bit of olive oil, then ground them together by pretending my small bowl was a mortar and one of my spice containers was a pestle), covered the roasting pan, and left it in the fridge all night.

This morning when I got up I preheated the oven to 450, and slid the pork roast in. The Gum Zombie had a choir rehearsal at 9:00, and I had a root touch-up scheduled for 11, so... yeah, it had to go in then. In fact, I'd set my alarm last night so I'd be up in time to make dinner.

Clearly, I have lost my mind.

While the roast was "crisping up" in the oven (I left it there about 45 minutes, for the record), I chopped up 4 carrots and 2 small-ish onions. Once the crisping phase was complete, I pulled the roast out of the oven, dumped the chopped vegetables in the pan with the roast, and poured two cups of chicken broth over the whole thing.

Then I cranked the temperature on it down to 225, and left. It was 8:30 a.m.

We got home just before 4:00, and I took the roast's temperature. 170 with my instant-read digital meat thermometer -- success!! And not even a full 8 hours -- whoa. So I left it in the oven on "warm" for a bit more (hoping Choreboy would get out of work early), then gave in and fed the boys around 5:00.

I now have to guard the roast because they keep picking at it. They had a serving of pork, green beans, carrots (the elder had those -- the Gum Zombie no-thank-you'd them after a taste test) and a pesto-parmesean toasted bun, and still they sneaked up on it, each with his own little fork, both trying to snarf down the entire seven pounds before Choreboy got home and he and I could eat.

They've now been threatened with Dire Consequences and are in my direct line of sight. Meanwhile, I wait for Choreboy's arrival.

I'm starving. The man isn't actually scheduled to get home until 9:00 tonight.

He might have to eat alone. Just sayin'.


Choreboy said...

The roast was a huge success! Fantastic crust on the outside, juicy and well done on the inside. Flavor for days!

I'm a happy camper:) Thanks love!

Amanda said...

And I got to eat with you -- yay!! The boys left us a few scraps...

(actually there is a HUGE chunk of meat still -- considering freezing part of it)