Winter is the season of roast pork. Its warm aroma is comforting on brisk, cold days, and its flavor goes well with all winter vegetables. Roasted to perfection, pork emerges browned, moist, juicy, tender, well done - yet not overdone.
One method of roasting pork is cooking it slowly in an open pan in the oven and basting it with water, stock, or cider to dissolve its natural fat.
Another method is roasting it in a casserole. This gentle, steamy cooking leaves the pork more tender and juicy than oven roasting, and it very effectively renders out the extra fat.
Marinating a fresh pork roast tenderizes it, adds flavor, and makes the cold leftovers more interesting. By putting the pork in a marinade, you can keep the meat fresh and ready to cook for up to a week without the bother of freezing and thawing a large roast.
Marination can be a preliminary step to almost any meat recipe, whether dry-roasted or pot-roasted in a casserole.
Remember, marinating meat must be done in a noncorrosive container, such as glass, stainless steel, plastic, enamelware, or porcelain. Hunter's Marinade 5- to 6-pound pork roast 1 onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon rosemary 5 juniper berries, crushed 10 coriander seeds, crushed 10 peppercorns, crushed 2 cloves 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon salt 2 1/2 cups apple cider 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in oil 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. When marinade is cool, add pork and refrigerate.
Turn meat over in marinade once or twice a day. Roast is ready to cook after 24 hours, but can be left in marinade up to 5 or 6 days.
Before cooking, drain meat and dry thoroughly with a cloth. A wet roast will not brown correctly. Lemon-Herb Marinade For each 1 pound of pork use: 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons apple juice 3 tablespoons oil 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1/8 teaspoon allspice 1 bay leaf 1 garlic clove, crushed
Rub salt into meat. Combine remaining ingredients in a deep dish that just holds meat. Add pork; turn it to coat with juice and spices. Cover.
If you are marinating the meat only a few hours, baste and turn it 3 times before cooking. Refrigerate and turn once or twice a day if it will marinate more than 12 hours.
Before cooking, scrape off marinade and dry meat with a cloth.