WTSIM November 2008: Pork and quinces roast
Johanna of The Passionate Cook hosts this month´s WTSIM (Waiter, there´s something in my...Sunday Roast) and I would like to participate with this recipe, which is not at all original. In fact, a pork / quince Sunday roast is much more traditional than a pork / potato or a chicken / potato roast, since before the arrival of potatoes in Europe people did live without them (although it sounds weird nowadays). Neither potatoes nor tomato salad as side dish then, just meat and quince and a hint of spices and pomegranate molasses and some cous cous to accompany the whole. If you decide to try this traditional Greek recipe, choose a juicy pork piece, such as pork shoulder, as the oven tends to dry up the meat. The pomegranate molasses is my personal “seal” in the recipe but you can certainly prepare the roast without them; alternatively you can also add some orange juice or some tablespoons of Oporto or any other sweet wine, which are both perfectly suitable for this dish. Use a gastra (roaster in English, pavera in spanish) like mine or like these ones.
1 kilo of juicy pork meat in one piece (pork shoulder preferably or whichever you usually use)
3 -4 quinces
2-3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
Cous cous to serve with (optional)
Wash and rub well the quinces before cutting them in 8 pieces each. Keep the skin on, if you prefer so, as this will help the meat juices to form a thick sauce.
Use your (obviously very clean) hands to rub the meat with salt, pepper, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Preheat the oven to 250°C and introduce your roaster inside. Cook for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 190°C. Cook for another hour and half or so until golden brown. The quinces should have a deep brown red, sort of winy colour. If you use molasses, the colour of the meat will be much darker.
Serve with some cous cous, rice or green salad. Alternatively you can smash the quinces and serve them as puree – sauce with the meat but I prefer biting their soft juicy flesh.