Monday, August 26, 2013

What's In The Box This Time?

One of the most fun and most frustrating things about a CSA -- either meat or vegetable -- are the lesser know ingredients waiting for a clever recipe. Usually I can muster up some idea but I was stumped for quite a while by this little roast -- fresh pork leg. Now I've cooked pork legs before, both fresh and smoked (as in ham) but this little one (about 3 lbs) with no bone and no layer of fat and skin to keep it juicy was really puzzling me. I thought about just tossing the meat in the crock pot and making some sort of tacos. That almost seemed like cheating. I can pretty much take any relatively unknown cut and make tacos. Where was the challenge in that? After a long internal debate I decided to try a porchetta seasoned pork roast. I made a paste of olive oil, chopped garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and chili flakes and rubbed it into the meat of the split open roast. Then I rolled the roast back up, wrapping the meat with fatty bacon strips for extra juiciness. I tied everything in place and roasted my mock porchetta for about 75 minutes in a 350ยบ oven.
I suppose I might get an A for effort or a special mention for trying my best, but I have to admit -- though tasty -- this roast was no prize winner. A little too tough, the meat really suffered from not enough fat . . . and maybe cooking a tad too quickly. Hard to fault those crispy potatoes though.

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