A couple of weeks ago my local market was running a special on center cut pork loin roasts weighing in at about 2.5 to 3 pounds. I love a barbequed pork roast, but the barbeque must be staffed and the internal temperature monitored closely when approaching completion.
So I thought the pork might be a great piece of meat to rub or smear with a few tasty extras (my regular M.O.!), allow to marinate, and then toss in the sous vide water bath to see what the end result would be. As usual, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
In addition to my staples, garlic confit and preserved lemon, I used some Marash chile, a sun-dried, slightly hot pepper from Turkey, and peperoni Cruschi, a flash-dried chile from Italy with a complex smoky flavor. I consider the Cruschi a must-have in my pantry, and both peppers are a terrific addition to the spice drawer. Plus, they last a very long time. They are both readily available online, but if you can’t find them, you could substitute a sprinkling of ground ancho chile or smoked paprika or omit the peppers entirely.
The simple preparation produced a wonderful dinner of perfectly cooked roast pork, accompanied by delicious homemade applesauce from one of Pam’s Sconset Café cookbooks. Now that the weather is finally warming up, a fresh fruit salsa would be another good choice to complement the pork. And there’s plenty for leftovers you can use in tacos, burritos, healthy preservative-free sliced pork for sandwiches, or cold cuts.
Serves 4 to 6 with leftovers
- Rinse the pork and pat dry. Coat the meat with a thin layer of softened fat or butter. Rub the garlic confit and preserved lemon all over the roast. Sprinkle with the diced chiles and pat onto the meat so they will adhere better, then season with salt and pepper.
- Vacuum seal and refrigerate the roast for a few hours or up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to marry. Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.
- Preheat the water bath to 133°F (56°C).
- Cook for 6 hours and up to 10 hours. Open the bag and remove the meat, discarding any juices. Pat dry. If you have left a fat layer on the roast, broil fat side up, 4 inches from the heat source, until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes on “high.” Slice according to your thickness preference and serve.
Note: I like to leave a layer of fat on the pork and, after the meat is cooked, I broil the roast fat side up for a few minutes to crisp it. You may certainly remove any and all fat.