Recipe: Deconstructed Rib-in Pork Roast
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.
Last Saturday night I was supposed to make Jose Andres’ “Pork Roast with Fruit, Nut and Sausage Stuffing” — “supposed” being the operative word. Once I arrived at my client’s there was a change of plans. Apparently no one likes fruit paired with meats, a cooking methodology I worship. The rib-in pork roast, which should have been Frenched, exposing the ribs with a single chop per person, was laden with a fat back I had to cut away but there wasn’t the time nor the interest in Frenching the bone since there was only one roast for 9 people and 4 ribs in total. Now I was seriously vexed. I had a bone-in roast which was not going to be carved along the rib for single portions so stuffing it according to the recipe was also out of the question. What to do?
I cut away some of the fat back and realized I could carve thin slices from this side before I hit the bone beneath. This was not going to give me the presentation I desired, but at least part of the problem was solved. Now for the recipe. The list of ingredients had winnowed down to pork roast and sausage. So I thought: a classic mirepoix in the bottom of the pan with the addition of garlic. Marsala, always a good idea with pork. And beef stock. Plus a handful of fresh rosemary, marjoram and chervil. (If you can’t find chervil, use Italian parsley and if there’s no fresh marjoram in the market, substitute thyme). I sautéed the carrots, onions, celery and garlic quickly, then added the sausage and partially cooked it. All of this went in a shallow roaster. I created a space in the center for the bed of herbs, then placed the roast on top of the herbs, fat side up. I massaged the roast with olive oil and created a fine crust of salt and pepper. Then I added broth and Marsala and placed it in a very hot oven on convection roast. An hour later the roast came out and I was able to carve away some servings for the juicy meat addicts and then put the remaining roast back in the oven for five minutes to finish off the cooking process.
When it was time to serve, I did absolutely nothing to the “gravy.” It was superb. I simply removed the herbs and heated it up when it was time to plate. This is now one of my favorite ways to serve pork. My amendment to the recipe is: skip the bone-in roast and get a boneless pork roast, but see if you can get a good slab of fat on top because I am convinced that added an enormous amount of flavor to the final dish. And the next time the recipe you’re planning to follow doesn’t pan out for some reason, be creative, trust your instincts and remember, if it tastes good, no one will care anyway.
Roast Pork with Sausage, Mirepoix and Marsala Gravy
1 5-lb. boneless pork roast with an inch of fat
4 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 stalks celery thinly sliced
1 medium onion diced
8 oz. Italian sausage removed from the casing
4 tbs. olive oil
3 cups beef stock
1 cup Marsala
1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
4 stalks fresh rosemary
Handful of fresh chervil/thyme/marjoram/Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees convection bake. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a sauté pan. Over medium heat, sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic for 4 minutes until wilted and translucent. Add raw sausage removed from the casing. Sauté for 4 additional minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a shallow roasting pan add the sautéed vegetables and sausage.Clear a center space for the fresh herb bed. Place the roast on top. Rub with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally. Pour 2 cups broth and all of the Marsala around the pan. Place in the hot oven. Thirty minutes into cooking time, turn the pan and add the remaining cup of broth and some water if needed. After an hour insert a thermometer and look for an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
Let roast 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, remove herbs from pan and reheat and reduce slightly on stovetop. Slice in ½-inch medallions. Serve on a bed of whipped potatoes. Ladle gravy over all.