A slow-roasted piece of meat used to be a culinary project reserved only for your day off. But not because it’s a difficult task that needs a lot of your attention, but because it cooks in the oven for several hours.
For most of that time, you won’t even need to open the oven, making it the perfect “work at home” dish.
It does take a little planning, though, as you need to season the pork butt or shoulder the night before with salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight. This gives the salt a chance to infuse into the pork, helping to ensure a flavorful and moist roast.
The rest of the cooking process is even easier. Just pop the pork onto a rack in a roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a low-temperature oven until a fork or knife, stuck into the side of the roast, can be twisted with hardly any resistance.
The result is supremely moist and tender on the inside, with a crispy, addictively salty outer crust. It’s the pork roast that midnight cravings are made of.
I like to serve this roast with creamy polenta or roasted potatoes and a flavorful, slightly acidic sauce, such as salsa verde. This is the perfect choice to offset the richness of the pork, with an herby, garlicky and vinegary sauce. It could be chimichurri’s Italian cousin.
While I’m taking this roast to Italy with the salsa verde, it would be just as at home in North Carolina, slathered in a barbecue sauce and piled onto a sandwich bun, or in San Diego, tucked into a warm tortilla with a spoonful of pico de gallo.
The only drawback to this kind of quarantine cooking is the slow-cooking roast’s aroma that will permeate your home office all day, making it a bit of a distraction. Of course, you can console yourself with the knowledge that a memorable meal is waiting for you when your workday is done.
Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram at @meredithdeeds.
Slow Roasted Pork With Salsa Verde
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: Plan ahead as this needs to rest overnight. Roasting a simply seasoned pork butt in a slow oven takes time, but is incredibly easy, and results in an ultra-tender moist, flavorful roast. Serve it with an assertive sauce, such as this salsa verde. It would be just as good slathered with your favorite barbecue sauce. From Meredith Deeds.
• 1 (4-6 lb.) bone-in pork butt or shoulder
• 1 tbsp. salt
• 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 c. packed, roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano
• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
• 2 anchovy fillets or 1 tbsp. anchovy paste
• 2 tbsp. water
• 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
Season the pork roast all over with the 1 tablespoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Adjust oven rack to lower third position and preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place a rack in a roasting pan or large, rimmed baking sheet. Place the pork on the rack and roast until fall-apart tender, about 6 to 8 hours. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine parsley, oregano, olive oil, capers, anchovies, 2 tablespoons water, vinegar and garlic. Process until parsley is well chopped, but not completely puréed, about 8 quick pulses, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Pull the pork apart into pieces and serve with the salsa verde on the side.
Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:
Calories 345 Fat 25 g
Sodium 810 mg Carbohydrates 1 g
Saturated fat 7 g Added sugars 0 g
Protein 26 g Cholesterol 80 mg
Dietary fiber 0 g
Exchanges per serving: 4 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.