Zest, marmalade enhance holiday pork roast
Karen and I would like to extend our family’s best wishes during the holiday season. We’ve come up with an alternative to the turkey, prime rib or leg of lamb options for this holiday meal. We are certain you will love this pork recipe. It is always a big favorite in our house.
As always when shopping for your meal. I encourage you to buy an organic or a minimally natural pork rib roast. If you buy at Butler’s (in my opinion, the only real butcher shop in Carson City), they’ll be glad to French trim the roast for you. I’m certain your local grocery store would be happy to do this for you as well. This gives it a nice presentation at the table.
When serving the pork roast, slice down the side of the bone. This makes it easy for you to control portions of the pork (one eight-rib roast serves eight people). If you have a large gathering, use a 16-rib roast and have it tied into a crown, which makes a nice center area to put your rice, which I recommend using. Use a typical rice recipe, but instead of using water or chicken stock use orange juice. This will give the rice a nice orange color and flavor.
You can also add sautéed breakfast sausage, an outstanding accompaniment to the pork and sauce. Make the changes I have described for a wonderful rice side dish, or you can use roasted potatoes (small Yukon gold or red).
Charlie’s Citrus Pork Rib Roast
Orange zest from 2 oranges (please do not buy green oranges)
1 T. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 T. orange marmalade
1Ú2 T. kosher salt
1Ú2 t. fresh ground pepper
1 pork rib roast (8 ribs, approximately 4 to 5 pounds)
1Ú2 cup orange juice from oranges used for zest
Mix zest and next four ingredients in a small bowl then rub over the roast.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place roast in a roasting pan and bake it for 15 minutes then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees. Cook for about 40 minutes. I like my pork roast to have a temperature of 150 to 155 degrees, which is about medium. If you like it medium-well, cook it until it reaches a temperature of 165 to 170 degrees. After 20 minutes of this cooking time. pour orange juice over the roast and continue to cook.
Sauce or gravy use:
1Ú2 a stick of butter
1Ú2 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth (low sodium, organic), hot
1Ú2 cup orange juice, hot
Drippings from roast, hot
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to the melted butter and mix well with a wire whisk until it starts to bubble. Slowly add the hot chicken broth, orange juice and drippings. Add just enough to get a consistency of a smooth gravy. You may or may not have to use all of the liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: It is important that the stock and juice are hot. Adding them while cold is what brings flour lumps to your gravy or sauce. Because measuring flour is an inexact science and because of the consistency and denseness of the flour, it is very important that in the final stage of gravy/sauce making that you pay close attention to these instructions. If you have used all of the liquid and the gravy/sauce is still too thick, use more hot chicken broth or hot water.
Thank you so much for the great comments on the Thanksgiving recipes. Karen and I think you will enjoy this recipe just as much.
As an interesting side note, you can brine the pork roast just as we did the Thanksgiving turkey. Use the same solution, but omit the sage. Here is the recipe again. Make sure you pat the roast dry before you add the marmalade mixture.
3Ú4 cup kosher salt
3Ú4 cup brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
12 whole cloves
3 oranges, quartered
4 cups maple syrup
4 cups apple juice
Enough cold water to cover roast in a large stock pot
Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in the apple juice over medium heat. Heat just until they are dissolved then add a little ice to bring the temperature back to cold.
Put this mixture and the remaining ingredients in a pot large enough to hold your roast and add enough water to totally immerse it. After 24 hours, rinse and pat dry. It is now ready to prepare for roasting.
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I suggest wines from a small-producing winery under the family name of Mahoney, owners of Carneros Creek Winery. Try Mahoney Estate Carneros Chardonnay, Las Piedras Vineyard, Napa, 2002; or the Mahoney Estate Pinot Noir, 2001. Check our local wine mongers for this great wine (Marlo’s or our newest establishment, Aloha and Ben’s Liquor). It will have you doing back flips!
For a great appetizer for the holiday season, I recommend Fleur d’ leis cheese, a soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese from Louisiana. It has great earth tones, is lightly aged, and has a runny texture similar to fondue. If you let it set out for a few hours then cut into it, you will find that it is wonderful for dipping crusty bread or crisp pear slices.
You can get this cheese from Tomales Bay Foods (parent company of Cowgirl Creamery), 105 H Street, Petaluma, CA. 94952. Their mail order phone number is (707)789-2604, or you can order online at http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com. By the way, rumor has it that we will be getting a real cheese shop early next year in the Minden/Gardnerville area. One can only hope.
Karen and I wish you and yours the very best through the holiday season.
As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Merry Christmas, Mom!
Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City for 22 years. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.