I’ve never been a huge fan of warehouse club stores. They do have some great prices but I always seem to spend more on extras I don’t need than I can save on the items I do. Now that one has opened on a corner near my home, though, I do have a membership again and I drop in occasionally. I have gotten better about targeting my purchase and coming out with only those things I went in for. Still there are occasions when a general thought like “I’ll just run in and pick up something for dinner” turns into a box full of random groceries some $85 later.
How does that happen? Well, last week, on the way back to pick up a rotisserie chicken I picked up a two loaf package of Dave’s Killer Good Seed Bread, huge bottles of Blue Machine and Mighty Mango Juice Smoothie’s from Naked, and some vitamins. When I finally got to the chicken I took only a quick glance around before I spied a huge pork loin roast and thought how it would be the perfect thing to cook on the weekend.
Divide and Conquer
It wasn’t until I looked at it again a few days later that I realized how truly big this pork roast was. I had grabbed an 8.71 pound loin roast. It was just $2.49 a pound so I hadn’t suffered sticker shock but it wasn’t until I was ready to start cooking that I realized it wasn’t going to fit in my crock pot and I wouldn’t be needing that much pulled pork barbecue anyway.
As I continued to marvel at the cut of meat I had dragged home I noticed that the package suggested cutting it into a boneless pork rib roast on one end, a boneless sirloin roast on the other and even cutting loin chops from the center. That made sense to me: divide and conquer. I cut the small end the length of my Le Creuset oval 5-quart French oven. That left about half the roast and since I wasn't all that interested in cooking the loin chops separately I carefully fit the remainder of the roast into my crock pot, poured a half bottle of Guinness over the top, seasoned it with salt and pepper and turned on the heat. That could cook all day or evening until it was easy to pull apart and then my son and his friends could eat barbecue sandwiches from it as they came and went all weekend.
Simple Summer Flavor
With my Pulled Pork Barbecue underway I turned my attention to the upper part of the loin, or boneless rib roast, I had cut. I remembered a jar of Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney that had been in my cupboard for some time. I'd heard it was good with pork but so far had never tried it. The flavors sounded perfect for a summer evening. With some fresh lime juice and a touch of butter it would make a perfect glaze for the pork. Suddenly a plan for dinner came to mind.
Several hours later I served tender slices of roast pork with mango chutney and lemon spinach. While it cooked there was plenty of time to relax over drinks and put together a light summer dessert. Maybe those warehouse stores aren't such a bad way to shop after all.
Pork Roast with Mango Chutney
3-5 pound boneless pork rib or loin roast
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 jar mango ginger chutney
juice of ½ lime (approx. 1½ Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon butter
Rinse the roast and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper on all sides.
Heat olive oil in a wide pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot place the roast in the skillet and brown. Turn as needed, cooking approximately 2 minutes per side, until roast is seared and browned on all sides. If it begins to burn, turn the heat down a little.
(note: You want a good sear on all exposed edges of the meat to seal in the juices. My roast barely fit in my 3 quart All-Clad sauté pan. I managed to fit it in and the ends browned nicely against the sides of the pan. )
Place the browned roast in a roasting pan or Dutch oven with the fatty side up.
(note: I roasted mine in my Le Creuset oval 5-quart French oven. Actually I could have just browned the roast in the French oven on the stove top then transferred the whole thing to the oven without using another pan. I just didn’t think of it at the time.)
Place the roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes per pound. Alternately, place in a 300 degree oven for closer to 30 minutes per pound. When the roast has reached an internal temperature jof approximately 155 degrees (use a meat thermometer pushed into the center of the thickest part of the roast to measure) it is ready.
Remove the roast from the oven. Tent it with foil while it rests for 10 to 15 minutes. (The internal temperature should continue to rise to about 160 degrees.)
While the roast rests, place the mango chutney in a small saucepan and stir in the lime juice and butter. Heat the chutney over low heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
Place the roast on a serving tray. Spoon half of the chutney over the top of the roast.
Slice the roast and serve, passing the remaining chutney to spoon over the slices.
Serve with rice or polenta and your favorite sides.