Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pork and Potatoes

Darn. I have a cold. One of those annoying last of winter or is it the first of spring head colds. I'm glad I decided on the roast pork and potato casserole tonight. I need some comfort food. What is it our mother's told us? Feed a cold, starve a fever?

The pork roast and the potato casserole are both in the oven. Here's what I ended up doing with the pork. I took it out of the fridge at 3:30 - I wanted it in the oven by 4:30. So far, my timing is good. :-)
I trimmed it and frenched the bones. Remember, it's a 5 (not four as previously reported..) rib roast. I saved all the trimmings and am roasting those in a little separate packet for the pup. No seasonings for her. Anyway, after trimming, I rubbed it with this yummy whole grain Dijon mustard, then pressed panko crumbs mixed with fresh thyme into it - top, sides, bottom. I used thyme because that's what I had. Sage, rosemary, garlic, etc... would be fine too. 

I then set the pork on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. The bones themselves act like a rack so no rack needed. I'll roast the meat for about 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temp registers 145 - carry over cooking will take it to 150-155 while it's resting. The potatoes are in there too. Everything will come out at the same time and dinner should be served at about 6:00. I picked a nice Chardonney for tonight. Butterfield Station. 

A little bit about resting food. This is one of the those things that took me years to learn the importance of. I don't know why I came to it late - it's not like the cook books don't mention it. Maybe it's that the books don't make a big enough deal about it. 

Well - I am making a big deal about it. All your food needs a resting period before carving, spooning, serving. Those molecules are banging around at top speed in that food. If you cut into it too soon - BAM - they just spray all over (all that lovely juice on the serving platter). Letting them calm down and retreat back into the food will reward you with more juice in the meat and less on your cutting board and platter. Trust me on this. 

Another note: if you don't have an instant read thermometer, get one. No cutting into meat to check for doneness. The thermometers are cheap, last forever and are an invaluable tool in the kitchen. 

While all this roasting and resting is going on I'm going to steam up some sugar snap peas. Their sweetness will go nicely with the tart lemon vinagrette I made last night. I'm also going to enjoy a glass of wine while setting the table. Bon Appetite to everyone - I hope whatever you're cooking up today brings you comfort. 

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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