Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cajun Pork Roast

Did you know that there is a National Pork Board? I wonder if they spend their time trying to advance the causes of pork by doing things like asking politicians not to use the term "pork barrel spending" because it's offensive. :)They don't of course. But they do put out some great pork recipes like this one. We've made this several times over the years, enough times to make a few mistakes and pick up a few pointers.

Cajun Pork Roast
Source: National Pork Board

2-pound pork loin roast
3 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all seasonings and rub well over all surfaces of roast. Place roast in shallow pan and roast in 350 degree F. oven for about 45 minutes, until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 150 degrees F. Remove roast from oven; let rest until temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 10 minutes before slicing.

My tips and mistakes
  • Mistake: Once I was making cajun roast beef and this at the same time. I thought I'd just use the same rub for beef for the pork, instead of the one written above. It didn't taste near as good, in fact it tasted funny.
  • Mistake: I tried a reverse sear this time. I switched to direct heat when the roast had hit 145f internal so I could get a nice crust on it. I only had it on for 4-5 minutes and the temp shot way up to 155f plus, which is way too done for pork loins. Next time either skip it or start it at 130f.
  • Tip: This recipe works GREAT on the grill. Just cook it indirect at 350f.
  • Tip: Go heavy on applying the rub, more than you think.

  • Mistake: I tried making this recipe for cajun mustard. Holy mother of all things pungent, it tasted like someone punched me in the taste buds. I threw it out.
  • Tip: If you are slicing this roast for sandwiches, save about 2 teaspoons of the rub and mix it in with several tablespoons of plain mustard for a quick and tasty "cajun mustard".
  • Tip: Save money and buy whole pork loins. I got 4 meals worth of meat for the family for $10.81. It's the easiest piece of meat to process, no bones or anything to deal with. I cut mine in half. I cut one half into 1" thick boneless pork chops. The other half I cut into two roasts.
I had a good idea for presentation. Take a filling like stuffing or some of the Bayou Dirty Rice from yesterday's post and roll thin slices of the cajun pork around it and plate seam side down like an enchilada. Top with a simple gravy.Nothing really fancy but it's different from the same old slices of roast on a plate and the kids seemed to like it this way. We served it with the dirty rice and some maque choux.