The ability to cook by the seat of your pants can be a benefit at times. For example: I pulled some steak out of the freezer yesterday morning for last night’s dinner only to find that it had gone into the freezer after it had already gone a little “funky”.
Now funky steak isn’t on my list of things to try for dinner anytime soon, so it was off to my local supermarket to find something acceptable. Did I have a plan? Of course not. I just knew I needed something ready to go on the stove when Mrs. seat of her pants got home from work.
A quick rush around the meat department at the local United Grocers gave me the answer. Pork blade roast was on special! Now I love me some pork roast so I grabbed up an 8.5 pounder and a few other sundries that we were in need of before heading back home, still brimming with excitement and satisfaction at my victory over the foul hordes of malodorous beef.
After arriving safely back home and situating Mr. Seat of his Diaper safely in his bouncy-chair for another round of Baby Einstein *shudder*, I proceeded to lay out my battle plan for the magnificent specimen of porcine perfection that now sat in my humble kitchen.
Wow. That’s a lot of really overbearing and semi-pompous chatter, isn’t it?
O.K. (several deep breaths.) I’m over it.
Now that I had a solution to the beef issue, I had a far more interesting problem.
What was I going to do with the roast?
I wanted to actually roast the roast. That much I knew. Pulled pork is great, but that either means braising or slow cooking the meat for a very-long-time. It also significantly changes the texture of the pork, which didn’t sound that good to me at the time. In true seat of my Pants style, I hit the spice rack and the spice cupboard to see what I had lying around.
The combination I finally settled on had several perks for me. One, I got to use my nifty new spice grinder, (Yay!) and I got to use my nifty new remote readout probe thermometer. (Double Yay!)
Here’s what I came up with in the end:
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 1 tbsp kosher salt (approx, and use whatever kind of salt you like)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 7lb to 9lb Pork shoulder blade roast
- Preheat oven to 350° (Fahrenheit)
- Combine fennel, rosemary, oregano peppercorns and salt in spice grinder, pulse until roughly the consistency of kosher salt. (No grinder? Use a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy frying pan to grind the herbs and pepper down)
- Turn roast fat side down on roasting rack, cover roast liberally with spice mixture.
- Place meat thermometer in meatiest part of shoulder, careful to not touch bone as it will alter the temperature reading drastically.
- Roast uncovered on center oven rack until internal temperature reads 170°F
- Remove from oven, tent lightly with foil and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
- Share and enjoy!
What would I have done differently if I’d thought about it?
Nothing. Nothing at all. This was fabulous.
Before anyone lambastes me for cooking this fat side down, let me explain. Fat side up is for lean tough cuts like brisket, where the fat cap will help to keep the meet from drying out. A pork blade roast is a pretty juicy cut all by itself, so generally I just trim the fat cap anyway.
I was planning on using the drippings when I started, but they were a little too infused with the fennel and herbs for what I’d originally planned, so I scrapped the idea.
I usually toast my spices, but that’s not really necessary here because they’re going to release their essential oils pretty quickly in a dry 350° oven. You can toast them if you’d like.
As a final thought. Leftovers from this roast made crazy-good sammiches, too!