Sugar and Spice Pork Roast

or the other white meat conquers Sunday dinner.

It's hard to think of many things that are more typical of hearty "Sunday Dinner" then a beef roast with potatoes, beef stew, or pasta with meat sauce.  Are you noticing a trend here?  I am, it's all beef.  Delicious, tender, flavor infused - but beef nonetheless.  So how do coax something with a much milder flavor, the "other white meat" perhaps, into being a meal worthy of this hearty homestyle tradition?  You give it a little love, a bit of sugar, some spice to kick it up a level, and garlic to bring it back home.  For the most part this roast makes itself, with a bit of hands on work at the start just to show you really care.  So let's get to it!

2-3 pound Pork Roast, bone in
¼ cup Brown Sugar
Cajun Seasoning
Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Honey
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Hardware: Dutch oven with lid or a deep baking dish and aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

1. Evenly spread the honey over all sides of the roast.  Season the top of the roast lightly with the Cajun spices, if you like more heat you can opt to season all sides or put it on a little heavier just remember that a little of this blend goes a long way and you may need a jug of water at the table if you go overboard here.  Then season lightly with the garlic powder on all sides.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over all sides of the roast and press down to adhere all the sugar, seasoning, and honey.  Allow to sit for a couple minutes.

2. Heat the oil and half the butter in the open dutch oven over medium high heat.  Brown all sides of the roast, you'll notice a nice crispy "crust" forming from the sugars.  Once all sides are browned turn off the heat and add the remaining butter to the bottom of the pan.  Cover with lid and carefully transfer the hot dish to the preheated oven.  If using a baking dish in place of a dutch oven you will transfer the roast, along with all the oil and butter, into the dish and then cover with aluminum foil.

3. Baked, covered, for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until desired internal temperature.  Pork does not have to be cooked to well done like poultry does so a nice "medium" is usually what I aim for but it's really up to your own preference.  For a little extra crispness you can remove the lid for the last 10-15 minutes to allow the top some more direct heat time.

4. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 min before slicing.  In a small saucepan melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium low heat and then stir in 2 tbsp of flour until it reaches a "paste" consistency.  Then slowly stir in the pan drippings from the roast to create a quick gravy.  Add seasoning to taste, this is a great place to add in some .  Serve slices of roast drizzled with gravy as desired, personally I drown the pork in it (I can't help it if I love gravy, and this sweet and spicy blend is heavenly over the pork).

So there you have it, right next to a pile of mashed potatoes with a pool of butter (don't judge, it's comfort food season around here).  The leftovers are excellent reheated, but I highly recommend appropriately dousing them with gravy during the reheat process.  Even if you remove the pork from the gravy before enjoying adding the gravy while it heats will help keep it more moist.  This is not just a weekend meal, it can be prepped in the morning and placed on time bake in your oven if you have the function, it fills the house with a fantastic aroma that can't be beat when you come in from the cold.  It's a nice option if you're just looking to switch things up and a delicious alternative to the beef laden meals that results in a lighter post-dinner feeling but still brings the deep down warmth and comfort you expect from "Sunday Dinner". So why not invite a little more pork into your life?  It's worth a try, with your own tastes guiding the way, to bring something new to the comfort food laden table.  Enjoy!

* Wait!  Come back! Don't forget to save the roast bone.  It's perfect for making homemade stock for another hearty slow cooker dinner - Go with the Flow Potato Soup.  I'm just saying, why waste all that delicious goodness by carelessly tossing it in the trash?  I don't know about you, but I know I'm looking forward to soup this weekend... *

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