I spent some quality time with my Julia Child cookbook this weekend. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a must for anyone who loves to cook. It teaches you many of the basic techniques that come in handy in the kitchen. It’s unlike any other cookbook I own, because the recipes are so detailed you feel like a chef is standing next to you, helping you as you go. I can’t sing enough praises for this cookbook. I’ve only made a handful of recipes out of the cookbook, but so far, all of the recipes have been mighty tasty. This past weekend, I made two recipes from Julia. The first, I will share with you today. I made Casserole-roasted Pork with Potatoes and Onions (Rôti de Porc Grand’ Mère). The technique is fairly simple (and one you’ll be able to use over and over again) and the result is delicious. A tender piece of pork, drenched in a mouth-watering juice, is accompanied by savory potatoes and onions. It was a meal to remember.
Casserole-roasted Pork with Potatoes and Onions Print Recipe Here
From Julia Child
3-lb. roast of pork (marinated in a salt marinade with herbs and spices)
Herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth & optional 2 cloves unpeeled garlic.
12 to 18 peeled white onions 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
12 to 18 small new potatoes or “boiling” potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch ovals
2 Tablespoons rendered pork fat or cooking oil
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
For the Salt Marinade with Herbs and Spices (Marinade Sèche):
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme or sage
1/8 teaspoon ground bay leaf
Pinch of allspice
Optional: 1/2 clove mashed garlic
For the marinade (do this step 8-24 hours before cooking)
In a small bowl, mix together all of the marinade ingredients. Rub them over the surface of pork. Put the pork in a large bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Place the meat in the fridge and turn the meat several times throughout the course of a day (at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours). Before cooking the pork, scrape off the marinade.
For the casserole-roasted pork
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Dry the marinated pork thoroughly with papers towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of fat or oil in a large dutch oven or casserole pan over medium-high heat. Let the oil begin smoking before placing the pork in the pan. Place pork in pan and brown on each side, about 10 minutes. Set pork on a plate and set aside. Keep 2 spoonfuls of fat in the pan (if the fat has burned, throw it out and replace with butter). Cook the garlic and herb bouquet in the fat for 5 minutes, covered and on low heat.
Put the pork back in the pan, fat side up. Place lid on pan and heat until you can hear the pork sizzling. Place the casserole pan in the preheated oven, in the lower third. Bake for 1 hour, basting with the juices after 30 minutes.
To prep the vegetables, slice a cross into the root end of the onions. Place the onions in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan. Now add the potatoes into the boiling salt water and boil for 1/2 minute. Remove the potatoes, draining thoroughly. Now fry the potatoes in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of fat or butter for 1-2 minutes, until the potatoes have started to brown slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the onions and potatoes to the casserole pan after the pork has been cooking for an hour. Baste the pork again with the juices. Place cover back on the pan and cook until the meat is done, 180-185 degrees (check this with a meat thermometer), baste once or twice more while the pork is finishing.
Take the casserole pan out of the oven and place the pork and vegetables on a large, hot platter. Garnish with parsley. Degrease the casserole pan and pour the juice over the pork and vegetables or place in a gravy boat. Enjoy!
Bon Appétit!!! (in best Julia voice)