The challenge: What to make with a bounty of fall fruit and vegetables and a queen-sized pork roast
The response: Make hearty Autumn Pork Roast meal
Recently, the Women of WIN received a giant pork roast from the St. Jude Catholic Church food pantry. Typically, when we get “economy-sized” packages of food that are much too much for one woman and her children, we’ll divide and share it among several women.
That’s easy when the food is a bag of oranges or a package of cookies. But when it’s a something like a seven-pound bone-in pork roast that serves 20, we often opt to cook it in the WIN kitchen for a communal lunch everyone – participants, staff and volunteers alike – can enjoy.
It’s important to fully cook pork, so use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness (an interior temperature of 170 degrees). Pork is typically very tender and juicy when cooked slowly in the oven, and we weren’t disappointed with this recipe. Coincidentally, it also includes several other items we received from the food pantry — potatoes, squash, parsnips and apples — making it a tasty, well-rounded meal perfect for a crisp fall day.
Here’s the recipe we used, sized down for a more manageable 3- to 5-pound roast. Try it and let us know what you think.
Autumn Pork Roast
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 bone-in pork loin roast (approx. 3 to 5 pounds)
- 8 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 8 carrots or parsnips, halved lengthwise
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 1 small butternut or summer squash, or fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 4 baking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
Spray a large roasting plan with non-stick spray. Place the roast in the pan and surround with the cut-up vegetables.
Add water to pan, then sprinkle meat and vegetables with seasonings. Dot vegetables with butter.
Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; then bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Place the apples around roast; cover and bake for another hour, basting every 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. If desired, thicken pan juices for gravy.