Roast pork three ways

Roast pork, like this hoisin glazed tenderloin, is the perfect comfort food. (Supplied)

Roast pork, like this hoisin glazed tenderloin, is the perfect comfort food. (Supplied)

ELIZABETH BAIRD, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:51 PM ET

Dark days and cold weather always makes me yearn for roast pork.

Not always the fancy loin roasts, but more robust shoulder roasts -- fatter yes, but totally delicious. Or the quick and smart little tenderloins.

For readers in the same kind of comfy food mood, here are recipes that feature the three roasting cuts mentioned above.

Hoisin Glazed Tenderloin

Lean, tender and utterly delicious, pork tenderloins are the perfect quick roast pork supper. All they need is some tasty coating, marinating if you have time to spare, then about 20 minutes in a hot oven. For 3 servings, divide the quantities in half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 12 oz. (375 g) each
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) sesame seeds

Directions:

Cut off any visible fat and silverskin (connective tissue) from pork. To even thickness of each tenderloin, fold thin end under and secure with a toothpick.

In a bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, lemon juice, canola and sesame oils, ginger and garlic. Add tenderloins, turning them to coat all over. If time allows, marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or covered and in refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Arrange on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Spoon hoisin mixture over tenderloins. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roast in centre of 425F (230C) oven until meat thermometer inserted into centre registers 158F (68C). Transfer to cutting board; tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes by which time temperature will have risen to 160F (71C). Slice across grain to serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Leftovers are delicious next day.

Roast Pork Shoulder Dijonnaise

Mustard, as in Dijon mustard, is one of those fortuitous partners with pork. Its sharpness cuts the meat’s richness, especially yummy when paired with a fattier pork shoulder. This is a lusty roast, cooked to pull-apart tenderness, and very at home with mounds of mashed potatoes or on crusty buns with a thatch of cole slaw.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (butt) about 3 lb (1.5 kg)
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) dried thyme or Italian herb seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp. (4 ml) cracked pepper

Directions:

With tip of a paring knife, cut 24 slits into pork shoulder. Cut each garlic clove into 6 lengths; press a piece of garlic into each slit. Set roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan that has a lid, or in a large skillet, preferably cast iron.

In a bowl, whisk together mustard, soy sauce, canola oil, thyme and pepper. Spread over roast. Cover roasting pan with its lid, or skillet with a domed lid, upturned saucepan or foil tented over skillet.

Roast in centre of a 325F (160C) oven for 3 hours. Remove lid and roast another hour until mustard coating is burnished and meat is fork tender. Transfer from pan to a cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice or cut into chunks, letting meat fall into its natural pieces as much as possible.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Roast Pork Loin with Apples and Prunes

Please, please don’t be put off by my including prunes in the stuffing of this elegant rolled roast. Prunes are a classic with pork, and never nicer than with apples for a touch of acid to challenge their sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless centre cut loin pork roast, (single loin about 3 1/2 lb./1.6 kg)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) each dried crumbled sage and thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. (4 ml) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) finely diced apple
  • 1 cup (250 ml) diced pitted prunes
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice

Gravy:

  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth or water, approximate
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Place roast, fat-side up, on a cutting board. Starting at right side with a knife parallel to board, cut loin in half, almost but not all way through. Open up loin like a book. Starting at centre of opened loin, and with knife parallel to board, cut loin in half on left side almost but not all way through. Repeat on right side and open flat. Cover loin with waxed paper and pound with a mallet to a fairly even thickness.

In a bowl, stir together sage, thyme, salt and pepper, sprinkle half of this mixture over pork loin. Stir oil into remaining herb mixture and set aside. In a separate bowl, toss apples and prunes with lemon juice. Sprinkle evenly over pork loin, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) along short side with fat layer underneath. Starting at other end of loin, roll up firmly towards border. Tie with kitchen string at 1-inch (2.5 cm) intervals. Place fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with herb and oil mixture. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)

Roast in centre of a 375F (190C) oven until a meat thermometer inserted into centre registers 158F (68C). Transfer to a cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes by which time thermometer should register 160F (71C).

Gravy: Meanwhile, skim fat off pan drippings. Whisk or shake flour and broth. Stir into pan dripping. Place roasting pan over medium heat. Stirring or whisking with a flat whisk, bring about-to-be gravy to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Whisk in a little more broth if desired. Strain into a warmed gravy boat.

Remove the string from the roast; slice thinly across the grain. Serve with the gravy.

Makes 6 servings, with a few slices to enjoy the next day, if you’re lucky.


Videos

Photos