Pork blade roast mancour...
I believe I originally read about this recipe in a cooking magazine that I subscribe to, Bon Appetit, but haven't been able to find it on the Internet since. I was intrigued by the combination of prunes and cranberry juice which I had never considered combining. So, I decided to try the recipe which, I believe, had its origins in Spain.
The recipe called for using a "bone-in" pork loin roast (the bones add great flavor). When one isn't on sale, a pork loin roast can be a bit expensive (but, I must add, worth the expense when you want to present your guests a beautiful roast...presentation is important, after all). So, when I went shopping at Giant's and pork loin roasts weren't on sale, I found a pork blade roast which was very inexpensive. Compared to the pork loin, the blade roast has flatter bones which hold a goodly amount of meat. The blade roast also has a flap of what will become sumptuous meat; the flap is attached to the blades but will separate during roasting, as the fat melts away. The good news is that the cheaper cut is more juicy and has a lot more flavor due to the presence of the fat and (like roasting a pork shoulder) most of that disappears by the time the roast is done. As with getting married, the tradeoff here is "flavor" for "looks."
Making the roast is pretty
easy. However, it is a bit time intensive in that, like any roast, a pork
blade roast has to be prepped and browned and the sauce has to be made.
But, by following the recipe as I've set it out below, everything comes together
very nicely in a succulent pork blade roast that is topped with a
prune-cranberry sauce, served atop a great spinach recipe with an interesting
type of mashed potatoes on the side. If you are pressed for time, you can
make this same recipe using pork loin chops. (I suggest asking your butcher cut
them 2" thick, on the bone.) I've included this variation in the recipe
below. A good Merlot provides an excellent accompaniment.
An additional note about the mashed potatoes. I read about this variation and thought to myself, "This is weird! Who'd ever eat potatoes mashed with applesauce rather than cream?" Well, that provided enough of a motive to test out the recipe, which basically requires nothing more than making regular mashed potatoes while substituting apple sauce (any kind in a jar, sweetened, or better yet, homemade) for the cream (or milk or half-and-half). The mashed potatoes taste just ever-so-slightly different with an interesting flavor ("Hmm...there's something different here...these don't taste like Mom's mashed potatoes! Are you trying to poison me?) that it is virtually impossible to identify.
Like the idea? Here's the recipe:
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