Well it’s been another cold weekend in Northeast Kansas which made staying in and cooking much easier. And since the cold seems to be sticking around, I’ve chosen something warm to make. I’ve cooked a few pork roasts and pork loins over the years, but this recipe has a unique gravy that makes it different than the others. I also checked the tv schedule and there just so happens to be a few Western movies on this weekend, so I think I can time my cooking to go along with one or more of them. Anyway, let’s get started on Backcountry Pork Roast.
First, I must confess that I won’t be following the recipe exactly because I was supposed to buy a pork roast and I bought a pork loin instead. But having cooked both before, I assumed it would work out. I guess we’ll see.
I got my Dutch oven heating on the stove with some olive oil in it. I seasoned my pork with salt and pepper, then browned it on all sides. I then removed the pork from the Dutch oven and set it aside for the moment. Next, I took an onion, an apple and a pear, sliced them up and added them to the pan. Once they were soft and starting to brown, I added some apple cider and put the pork loin back in.
Next, I was supposed to put the lid on the pan and bake it until the pork registered at 145 degrees F, but at this point I realized that I hadn’t pre-heated my oven yet because the recipe didn’t tell me what the oven temperature should be. After consulting with one of my brothers (who happens to own a restaurant and does a lot of cooking himself) we settled on an oven temperature of 325 degrees. The recipe called for the pork to bake for about 40 minutes, but just to make sure it was done, I left it for 50 minutes. At this point, the thermometer definitely registered a good temperature so I took the pork out of the oven.
Now there was just the gravy left to make. I removed the pork loin from the pan and placed it on a cutting board to rest. Then I took the onion, apple and pear that were cooked in the pan and put them in a blender. After they were pureed, the mixture went back into the pan until it came to a boil, then I seasoned it with salt and pepper. Now it was ready to be served with the pork.
For this recipe, I was the first reviewer. I tried the gravy by itself and wasn’t sure this was going to be a success. It had a bit of a texture issue I didn’t love but I probably could have blended it up a little better. Also, I have never been a fan of onion (no surprise to many) and the gravy does have a semi-strong onion taste. However, once I paired it with the pork, it was quite good. The apple and pear add a nice sweetness to balance out the onion. The pork was very tender (so no problem not using the roast) and it was not dry at all. Plus, this is one of those recipes that makes your house smell really good while you’re making it. My dad was also another reviewer on this, but all I have to say to him is “I cooked it with onion” and he’ll like about anything. And he did! Just don’t try to sneak in any cheese on him.
In conclusion, I would say it’s another successful recipe other than the missing oven temperature. Plus, I did manage to watch a couple Westerns this weekend including How The West Was Won. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an epic movie from 1963 that features an amazing cast of actors including… John Wayne. Check it out sometime.
Now…what should I make next?
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 (2-lb) pork roast
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 medium apple, cored and sliced
1 medium pear, cored and sliced
12 oz. apple cider
Recipe from the John Wayne Family Cookbook.