As winter seems to drag on and on, and the cold has started seeping into my bones I am in a slow roasting kind of mood. Lately it seems like I am all about turning down the heat (at least in the kitchen) and opting to keep the oven on longer. Yesterday I saw a lovely bone-in pork loin on sale, and knew it would be a slow roasted delight. I’ve also thrown in some Brussels sprouts that I tossed with some chopped bacon, (the store didn’t have any pancetta) olive oil, maple syrup and smoked paprika. Right now I’m enjoying the smells filling the kitchen.
There are many things that are magical about slow roasting and if you are apt to burn or overcook things slow roasting could be for you. Just like when you’re driving, when you’re cooking slowly you have much more control. The temperature increases slowly, giving you a much greater window of getting things to the best temperature. You can almost double the cooking time of anything by lowering the oven temperature from 350°F to 275° or even 300°. This technique does require the meat to have some protection, like skin (for poultry) or a layer of fat or good marbling for beef or pork.
Slow roasting also allows flavors to develop fully. Vegetables caramelize but don’t get burned edges and meats develop deeper flavor. Slow roasted chicken is my favorite, you end up with crispy skin and tender meat. Of course slow roasting takes time, and unlike using a slow cooker, you do have to be around. Slow cookers are great for braising, but slow roasting won’t yield a ton of liquid the way a slow cooker does. (If there is a way to avoid all that liquid, please tell me!) Slow roasting will also fill your house with lovely aromas, and no smoke.
This slow roasted pork came out great, and since it was cooked on the bone I got some tasty ribs to nibble. Slow roasting is great for pork ribs too! Do you have a favorite item to slow roast?
Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Potatoes
- 4lb pork loin (bone in)
- 1 head garlic (peeled)
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt (plus more for potatoes)
- 4 Idaho potatoes (sliced thin)
- 1 Sweet or Spanish onion (sliced thin)
- Olive oil