Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sweet Maple and Cracked Pepper Pork Roast

It's nearly 90 degrees, the humidity is high, the pollen count is actively trying to kill me and what do I decide to do?  Turn on the oven and roast a large (though inexpensive) pork roast.  After the success of the different turkey breast flavors I've managed to create, I guess hubby thought it was time for me to practice my, albeit limited, culinary skills on an unsuspecting piece of pork.  (Well, that and I sent him freezer-diving for our next meal....so it is partially my fault).

Last time I got hold of a pork roast I went all Julia Child on its butt - pun intended - and created something French, decadent, and delicious.  With BBQ season upon us, I thought it was time to try to marry some of the traditional smoky flavors notorious for the grill onto a lovely pork roast.  I have been want to try another deli flavor that I've been missing from back home, though this was done on turkey breast - I figured it's worth a try on pork.  And cracked black pepper seems to be the next big thing as far as flavor profiles go, so here's my twist on the trending taste of the season.

This serves incredibly well.  Here are some ideas of how to serve this delicious pork roast:
  • Lightly shred and serve in a sub sandwich with coleslaw mix, BBQ sauce, on a hearty yeast roll
  • Use as a filling in a torta with a bolio, refried beans, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.  Guacamole is optional
  • Serve in a tortilla topped with cilantro and onions
  • Serve with a fruity BBQ sauce and pair with potato salad, corn on the cob, and cornbread
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and salad
  • Shred and serve as pulled pork in your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Serve in a hearty market style sandwich on whole wheat bread with mayo, lettuce, and tomato
  • Chop well and serve in a chili, Brunswick stew, or stir into baked beans
  • Add some zip to your nachos and add this pork in place of ground beef or chicken


2 T. cracked black pepper ($.15)
1 tsp. each white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and smoked sweet paprika ($.15)
1/2 tsp. each: cumin, onion powder, and ancho chile powder ($.10)
1 T. maple smokehouse seasoning blend ($.20)
1 large onion ($.10)
2 T. vegetable oil ($.10)
2-3 T. maple syrup ($.25)
8.2 lb. pork butt roast ($8.00)
1/2 C. water (free)

  • Heat oven to 375.
  • Combine all dry seasonings until well mixed.
  • Drizzle 1 T. in bottom of a 4.5 qt. cast iron or large baking dish.
  • Chop onion into thick slices and add to bottom of pan.
  • Rub meat with seasoning mixture on all sides and place (fatty side up) in the prepared baking dish/pan.
  • Drizzle with maple syrup and remaining oil.
  • Add water in the bottom of the pan (so the meat doesn't scorch to the pan).
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 2 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of meat reaches 180F.
  • Baste every hour is desired or drizzle with more honey or maple syrup.

Yields: 20-24 servings
Cost: $9.05
Cost per serving: $.45

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