Slow-roasted pork is a universal dish. The Greeks love pork, as do the Italians and Spanish. In the South, we covet pork almost as if we had invented it. Especially roasted pork.
This recipe is handed down from many generations in our family. My grandmother, Alma, got it from her mom and taught my mom, who passed it to me. The bourbon gives a big nod to the South, but the secret ingredient is my grandmother's homemade mustard, which is like no other, hands down.
The way that the roast is prepared is how I prepare most of my roasted meats. Making little incisions in the meat and stuffing it with garlic and herbs infuses the meat with aromatics. This pork is juicy on the inside with a crust on the outside. Pork shoulder or butt works great for this dish because of the fat content, which is needed for moisture. I never use pork loin or any leaner meat because it will dry out.
One of the big pluses is seasoning the meat and making the mustard ahead of time, which makes this recipe fun and efficient. Once the pork is cooked, it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Because of the tenderness, it tends to fall apart when slicing but is perfect on a mound of hot, steamy mashed potatoes.
My grandmother's recipe for mustard has always been a favorite with people. It is a recipe that I will always cherish, as I did her and hope to hand it down to my kids and grandkids one day. It is truly a recipe heirloom.
For Cat's Brussel Sprouts Recipe click here.
Try Cat's Grandmother's Sweet Potato Pie recipe.
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Slow-Roasted Pork, Hirino Psito
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
One 5-pound pork butt or pork shoulder
10 peeled garlic cloves
10 fresh sage leaves
about 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Alma's mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 to 5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Bourbon whiskey
Mix the salt and pepper together and rub over all sides of the pork. Make five slits on the bottom of the roast and stuff each one with a garlic clove and sage leaf. Turn the roast over and repeat on the top (fatty side). Wrap the roast in plastic, refrigerate and let marinate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250° F.
Place the flour on a plate, unwrap the pork and roll it around in the flour, coating all sides of the meat. Pat off all excess flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the floured pork and fry on all sides, including the ends, until golden brown. It will take about 15 minutes total.
Transfer the meat to a roasting pan. Combine 1/2 cup of Alma's mustard with the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and bourbon. Stir until smooth.
Smear the meat with about 1/2 to 2/3 of the mixture, or enough to coat all sides of the meat. Reserve any remaining. Place in the oven and roast for four hours. Remove the foil and spoon the remaining mixture over the top of the roast. Return to the oven, uncovered and roast an additional two hours, or until the meat is completely tender and is falling from the bone.
Alma's Fruited Mustard
Makes about 3 cups
2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter
2 bay leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped dried cherries
1 cup sweet-hot mustard
2 cups dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make fruited mustard, melt butter over medium heat and cook until it reaches a caramel color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, dried cherries and pepper. Mix in the sweet and dijon mustards. Refrigerate until ready to use.
*Courtesy of Cat Cora