Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Roasting for flavour

Cathi Litzenberger offers recipe for a roasted pork shoulder complemented by a homemade chutney

I attended a fundraiser dinner for Lutheran World Relief Sunday evening, and was reminded just how much this community cares. Some 200 people were able to raise close to $10,000, which when matched by government dollars, is a substantial amount of money toward poverty and relief programs.

We shared in a delicious  roasted pork meal complete with homemade chutney, apple sauce, mashed spuds, gravy, vegetables, Caesar salad, and apple crisp and ice cream for dessert.

The following pork recipe is for the less expensive pork roast cuts. Loins are so much easier to slice but often do not have the amazing flavour as from a shoulder or butt roast. The apple and raisin chutney goes well with cold or hot pork and is always nice to have on hand instead or, in addition to, apple sauce.

Roasted Pork Shoulder

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 lbs.), skin on

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 handful fresh oregano

4 tbsp. Kosher salt (1 tbsp. for every pound of meat)

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place the pork, fat-side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack insert, and using a sharp knife, score the surface of the meat with small slits.

Mash the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper into a paste on a cutting board with the flat side of a knife; place this mixture in a bowl and stir in the oil and vinegar.

Rub the garlic paste all over the pork, being sure to get into the incisions so the salt can penetrate the meat and pull out the moisture — this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least three hours or up to overnight.

Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Roast the pork for three hours, uncovered, until the skin is crispy-brown. Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Apple and Raisin Chutney

4 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and chopped

4 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp mustard seeds

900ml/1½ pint vinegar (cider or malt), divided

450g/1-lb. raisins (I like the golden raisins)

1 tbsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. salt

900g/2-lb. soft brown sugar

Bring the apples, onions, garlic, lemon juice, mustard seed and 1 pint of the vinegar to the boil.

Simmer for 1 hour. Add the raisins, ginger, salt, sugar and the rest of the vinegar. Simmer until thick.

Pour into clean, hot jam jars and cover as usual. Seal. Store for 6-8 weeks to allow the flavours to develop. Perfect for any pork dish.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every Wednesday and one Sunday per month.