Mary/ December 16, 2014/ Culinary, Food

Have you ever made a roast? Or are you afraid it’s too complicated?  Making a roast dinner in the winter is such a wonderful thing. And it can be easy: you just need a pan, a roast, and some salt. Really, that’s all you need. (Veggies are optional). Give yourself approx. 3 hours or so before you want to eat.

The best type to start with is a Pork Shoulder Roast. It’s the most forgiving. You could not ruin it if you tried.  Put it in a oven proof dish, one that is not too shallow. (I love my Le Crueset dutch  oven made of enameled cast iron – I’m a total cast iron fan – but have also used Pyrex glass dishes or metal).  Sprinkle with salt (maybe a teaspoon or so, be generous), and put in the oven for several hours at 350 degrees.

That’s it.

You can start with a hot oven (400 degrees) for 20 minutes then turn down to 350 or 325 for a few hours, or you can just start at 325-350 and leave it be. Time is a wonderful ingredient. Slower is great for roasts. So instead of hot and fast, go moderate in the temperature department and slower on the time.

Roast it until it starts to fall apart. Roast it uncovered till really nice and brown, 1.5-2 hours, then add a tiny bit of water (1/2  to 1 cup) and cover with a lid or foil if you like a bit of gravy/pan juices.  At this time you can add some onions (whole or quartered), some mushrooms, and\or carrots and celery in chunks if you like. You can then leave it for another hour or so.This adds to the flavor and juices.

You can’t overcook it. Just let it roast till it’s tender and starts to fall apart. Serve with mashed potatoes or ones you’ve added to the roasting pan in the last 1-1.5 hours of cooking.

The house will be filled with a wonderful aroma, and the oven keeps the house so nice and cozy. This is total comfort food.