One of the delights of Sunday suppers can be the leftovers. I love making something on Sunday that can extend into sandwiches, or stews, or sauces throughout the week. That’s why I often find myself on Sunday making something like a big batch of meatballs or a pot roast. For my money, a pork roast is one of the great Sunday meals. Pork sandwiches on toast with mustard or tomato jam are heaven. Odd bits of the roast chopped into a hash are marvelous, and just a sliver of cold pork out of the refrigerator is a tasty snack.
Roasts cooked in the same pan with potatoes were a staple of my childhood. Mom put potatoes (and often carrots) into the roasting pan with chicken, beef, meatloaf, and pork. When you start the roast with the lid on (anathema, I realize, to many fancier chefs than I), the pan juices collect and glaze the potatoes with tasty drippings. This helps cook the potatoes thoroughly (the easiest way for inexperienced cooks to ruin dinner is to neglect to leave enough time for potatoes to cook through) earlier in the process. Removing the lid after the first three-quarters of the cooking time allows the roast and potatoes to brown and the juices to thicken up into a nice sauce.
I have learned that October is a great month for experimenting in the kitchen here in Connecticut–everything seems to be in season at once. I happened to have a couple of poblano peppers in the refrigerator when I made this. They are quite tasty cooked in the pot with everything else. I don’t think green bell peppers would be as good, but red ones might be delicious, as well as really ripe tomatoes. I also love to add quartered turnips, just coming into season now in Connecticut, and you can never go wrong with carrots. Or cubes of butternut squash. (What was I saying about everything being in season at once? It’s like a cornucopia exploded in my kitchen.)
Pork roasted with potatoes + poblanos
- one pork loin roast (3 to 4 lbs)
- a few glugs of olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile pepper powder or paprika
- 1 teaspoon crumbled, dried oregano
- 1 – 2 lbs small potatoes for roasting, quartered
- 2 poblano peppers, whole
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a lidded roasting pan or enameled cast-iron pan with lid, sear the roast on all sides until well browned. Salt the roast and sprinkle with the ancho chile pepper or paprika and oregano. Add quartered potatoes to the pan and the poblano peppers.
2. Place lid on pan and slide into the oven. Roast with lid on until internal temperature of the meat reaches 140 F. Remove lid from pan and continue cooking until internal temperature of roast reaches 160 F and roast is well browned and potatoes are cooked through. Quite a bit of juice should have accumulated in the pan by the time you remove the lid. If not, add a couple of glugs of stock or wine to the pan.
3. Slice the roast and chile peppers. Serve each person some roast, potatoes, and chiles, topped with the juices that remain in the pan.