My goal this year is to learn to cook meat better. Seems simple right? But actually, for me, not so much. I only went through about 15 whole chickens before I finally got the hang of it. I have quite the history of either way overcooking meat to the point of in-edible rock-hard nastiness or the extreme opposite, I’ve served many a raw chicken breast to my family. Aaron cuts into the wobbly mess, takes one look at it and promptly offers to call for take-out.
I have grand visions of perfect pork tenderloin and juicy steaks perfectly pink in the middle right off the barbecue. And for the love of all things, I just want to make non-rubbery chicken before the year is over.
Meat braised in wine or stock and cooked in the oven for a really long time seems to be right up my alley. I’ve got that down as long as all it requires is copious amounts of liquids and to be left alone in an oven but after a winter of almost weekly pot roasts, I needed something new to try.
As I was flipping through a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, a recipe for a slow-roasted pork roast caught my eye. I didn’t have some of the ingredients but decided to go for it anyway, using what I had. The result was a juicy pork roast with a smoky spicy kick. It made my house smell delicious and we ate leftovers all week. You could use a boneless pork butt (that’s what I usually buy at Costco) but for maximum flavor and juiciness I would buy a bone-in roast.
Spicy Roast Pork
- 1 (4-5 pound) pork butt
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 chili in adobo sauce (scrape out the seeds to reduce heat)
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-3 cups white wine
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place pork in a roasting pan, pat dry with paper towels and salt and pepper liberally. Place the garlic, onion, chili (and sauce), spices and apple cider vinegar in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until a paste forms. Drizzle in the olive oil until well incorporated. Using a spatula, spread the sauce all over the pork. Pour the wine into the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook for 2 hours and then remove foil. Cook for an additional 2ish hours until the meat is tender and cooked through. If the wine begins to evaporate, add another cup to the pan. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with foil for 15 minutes. Slice thinly to serve.
*The size of the roast and the temperature of your oven is going to determine how long it takes to cook. Use a meat thermometer and pull pork from the oven when it reads between 145-150 degrees.