Braising a Pork Roast (a learning experience)

Braised Pork Roast: Oxymoronic? Redundant?  Braise and Roast different or the same?  Braising is basically roasting so the meat is in liquid (stock, gravy, sauce, etc.). Roasting is cooking it without added liquids; just maybe an extra bit of fat (olive oil).  I had braised a pork “roast” and it was used in two different meals on two separate days.  Well, my husband informed me after I’d done it, that I should have just roasted (dry) this cut of pork since it didn’t have much fat throughout it. Both dishes were good, but now I know how they could be better.  The first was made into burritos/tacos and the second into the Thai Green Curry that I just posted.  

There is something that might be unique to the US in that when we go over to friends’ for dinner we often bring a part of the meal— appetizer, main, dessert not just a bottle of wine.  It makes for a creative night (may try something you’d never make yourself) but also when we’re watching our budgets, it’s nice to share the expense of feeding more than just your own family.  I needed to bring some food to a friend’s New Year’s Eve Fiesta, so I threw the pork roast in the oven early in the day.  I figure I could use half to bring and half for our dinner the following night as it was a good sized roast.

So, I used my trusty Dutch oven and sautéed a diced onion in olive oil.  Added the pork (which I cut in half) to brown.  Once each side was browned I added chicken stock (had no veal or pork stock), herbs (Penzy’s Mural of Flavor), and black pepper then covered it and put in 300F oven for 3 ½hours. 

I added about ½ tsp chili powder, just under ¼ tsp cayenne, ¼ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp cumin and sea salt to the half that became filling for tacos and burritos.  It easily fell apart like pulled/shredded pork.  I added a little of the left over liquid from braising and sautéed it all for a few minutes to open up all the spices. It wasn’t dry and made for delicious fiesta food.  The fun of being with good friends made it even better.