Beef is what most of us think of when we shop for a pot roast, but pork also makes a fantastic pot roast. When the right cut of pork is braised in the same fashion as beef, the result is meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender without becoming dry like many beef cuts do when cooked in this fashion.
Almost any bone-in cut, with the exception of the loin is perfect for this. The loin is too lean and is best dry roasted. The best cuts for this also happen to be the least expensive. The shoulder, butt and fresh ham all make a perfect pot roast. The amount of fat in these cuts almost guarantees a moist, tender roast when braised for a long time.
This recipe for a pork pot roast is identical to the beef pot roast I serve. The leftover pork is superb the next day in hot roast pork sandwiches or when shredded and added to BBQ sauce for BBQ pork sandwiches. I also shred the meat and often use it in Mexican recipes. I have used a 4-5 pound roast here, but a larger roast is just as easy and is a great way to feed a crowd, just increase the first phase of braising until the roast is tender.
Pork Pot Roast
1 4-5 lb pork butt roast (bone-in)
3-4 medium carrots
2-3 stalks celery
1 large onion
4 large, whole cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
½ cup sherry
1-1 ½ qts good beef broth
½ tsp light brown sugar
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Pat the roast dry with paper towels, Remove any excess fat from the outside, but leave a little bit to help when browning the roast. Tie the roast with kitchen twine to help keep it’s shape while roasting and to help it cook evenly.
Rub the roast all over with salt, pepper and the brown sugar (aids in browning).
Sear the roast until well browned on all sides in a non-stick sauté pan. Place in a roasting pan (with a cover) large enough to hold the roast, cooking liquid and vegetables.
Add the sherry, broth, whole garlic cloves and bay leaves. The liquid should come halfway up the roast. Don’t completely submerge the roast. Cover tightly and braise in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours. Turn the roast over and cook for another hour and test the roast for tenderness. When the meat almost falls from the bone remove the roast from the oven. Larger roasts may require additional cooking time for this step.
Cut the carrots, celery and onions into large chunks and add to the roasting pan. Cover and braise for another 30-45 minutes until the roast is very tender when tested with a fork, and the vegetables are also tender. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the roast and the vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside to keep warm while making the gravy,
To thicken the gravy, prepare a roux by combining the butter and flour in a small non-stick sauté pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove any excess fat from the cooking liquid. Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer and add half of the flour/butter mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. If not thick enough, add additional flour/butter mixture until it’s a thick as you like.
Serve the meat and vegetables with mashed potatoes and a generous amount of gravy over all.