Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Fret About the Meat!

Okay, so I think I figured out what stresses me out the most in my kitchen: roasting meat. I thought it would only happen the first time with the first chicken I ever cooked, but apparently, meat thermometers and temperature standards of different countries completely freak me out. No, there was no dinner party to prepare for, no time constraints. I am just a really big worry wart and am always very hard on myself. I hate failing or not getting something right the first time around.

Right off the bat I was already screwed because my pork roast was completely frozen. I have since learned to think and plan ahead, and make sure to defrost my meat by putting it in the refrigerator 24 hours or more before I intend to cook it. I hope that all of you know that you SHOULD NOT leave your pork out on the counter to defrost for the whole day, or dunk it in a sink of hot water, because this is the best way to encourage bacteria to grow all over your dinner and make you very ill. For the first 30 minutes that the roast was in the oven, I was pacing back and forth, clutching the meat thermometer in my hand and peeking through the oven window every ten seconds. My husband thought I was a lunatic. I have never given anyone food poisoning before, so I don't really know where this fear stems from. Only when an incredibly wonderful smell began to waft through the house did I start to feel at ease. I took out the roast at the end of the hour, stabbed it with my trusty meat thermometer and the gauge read: 160ºF. YES! Then I stabbed it again from another angle: 160ºF! Success and relief. The final product was fully cooked (always a good thing), and not dry, but very moist and flavourful! The drippings were marvellous. Hallelujah! And it tasted even better the next day if you can believe it.

Pork Roast with Rosemary, Quatre-Epices and Honey:
  • 3 pounds boneless pork roast
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbsps chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
  • 2 tablespoons quatre-epices (1/4 tsp cinnamon ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp pepper)
  • 1/3 cup honey, warmed until runny if necessary
  • 1/2 cup water 
  1. Rinse your meat and pat dry. Bring the meat to room temperature, about an hour. Heat the oven to 400ºF. Season the meat well all over with salt and pepper. Rub with the olive oil. Mix together the rosemary and spices and roll the meat in it (on some parchment paper) to coat evenly. Set the meat in a roasting pan, fat side up. Drizzle over the honey. Pour about 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the pan and place in the oven. Roast the pork for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue roasting until done, about 40 minutes more, adding another 1/4 cup water during cooking, if needed.
  2. Remove the pork from the oven and carve in thin slices, while keeping the juices warm. Fan the meat onto a platter. Taste the juices and fix the seasonings. Pour over the meat, and serve.


  1. Loving that you are loving the discovery of your domestic side. Too bad we can only sample the food pron pics and not the actual food.

    I hope the wee buns are enjoying watching their momma dance around the kitchen a la "Ratatouille" (the film).

    I've found that my bestest friend in the world when roasting meats is a thermometer with a wire probe. I have something like this:

    It also comes in handy when needing a timer and you've already set the one on your stove. At less than $25 a pop, it's a super inexpensive way to keep your roast happily at a consistent temp without losing heat because of the paranoid activity of opening the oven to check the meat.

  2. Wow, Reesey, that is a wonderful gadget and I want it! Come visit me and I will make you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ratatouille is on my list actually. I have to make sure Tidbit is contained when I am cooking, because she has a new habit of running through the kitchen like a mad-bunny when I'm in there, and I'm scared I'll spill something on her or get tripped up by her. Toby has custody of the other side of the apartment, so he's fine. :)

  3. Your pictures looked so yummy I decided to make it. I wondered about the unusual combination of spices, but went ahead. A bit later, I checked the recipe in Laura Calder's "French Taste" and instead of cinnamon I think it is supposed to be ginger. Check the amounts for the four spices. It tasted good anyway and Mr. Wilson Sr. ate it up. I'll have to try it again. Ginger is great with pork.

  4. Oh you're right! I don't know why I wrote cinnamon, because I actually went out and bought ground ginger for this recipe. Maybe I was craving cinnamon!