New Orleans is not known for their pork dishes. Barbecue restaurants are just starting to make their mark. This past March, I was part of my brother’s team for the Memphis in May-like cooking competition Hogs for the Cause. Hogs for the Cause is a great charity event, benefiting Pediatric Brain Cancer research. It was a great experience that I can’t wait to next year’s event to arrive.
The most popular pork dish in Louisiana is Cochon du Lait. This is a suckling pig that is roasted whole. This slow cooked meat just melts in your mouth. It is often found in the Cajun Country at large get togethers. This was my brother’s first year entering the whole hog competition. We placed 20th out of 89 teams.
I am sharing with you some more traditional cuts of pork, the pork roast and pork loin. The pork roast is a cut usually taken from the shoulder, also known as the butt. The loin is often cut into boneless pork chops.
Here is a great use of the Cajun trinity. This recipe also shows the usage of three different peppers, Black, White, and Red or Cayenne. Black pepper is used mostly for flavor. White pepper is used to add bite to the seasoning. Red pepper is used to control the heat of the dish.
Cajun Pork Roast
1 cup Onions, Chopped 1 cup Bell Pepper, chopped 1/4 cup Celery, chopped 1 tablespoon ground Thyme 1 tablespoon ground Basil 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground White Pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper 1 teaspoon Salt 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped 4 cloves Garlic, minced 1 4 pound Pork Roast 1/4 cup Olive Oil 2 cups Pork or Beef Stock
Preheat oven to 325℉.
In a small bowl, combine the vegetables, spices, herbs and garlic and blend very well. Make several slits in the roast and stuff the vegetable/herb mixture into them. Once you have filled several slits in the roast, rub the remaining vegetable/herb mixture on the outside of the roast. In a large heavy pot big enough to hold the roast, heat the olive oil and brown the roast on all sides very quickly. Next, add the pork stock, cover the pot, and bake in the oven for about 3 hours, basting the meat every 30 minutes. Cook until the roast is tender and done inside.
Coffee can be used for more than just brewing everyone’s favorite morning beverage. It makes a great crust for most meats. A pork loin benefits greatly from the added flavor of this coffee rub.
Coffee-Crusted Pork Loin
1 cup ground Coffee 1/2 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar 2 tablespoons Sea Salt 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.
Coffee-Crusted Pork Loin
1 (6 pound) Boneless Pork Loin Coffee Spice Rub Up to 2 tablespoons Canola Oil 2 Shallots, finely chopped 1/2 cup dry White Wine 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock 4 tablespoons Butter 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 350℉. Rub pork on all sides with Coffee Rub. Place in a large roasting pan; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roast pork until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and place pork on a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan ( add canola oil as needed to measure 2 tablespoons). Place roasting pan on stove over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add stock, and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and keep warm. Thinly slice pork, and place on a serving platter. Pour any accumulated juices from the cutting board into the roasting pan with the sauce. Return sauce to a simmer, and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, along with the pepper. Serve sauce over sliced pork.