Everybody loves a good roast. Roast beef and roast pork are traditional holiday dishes in Jamaica, that your family might cook only a few other times during the year. The cut of meat usually comes from the shoulder and is a good mix of fat and lean portions of meat from the animal. Pot roasted pork is heavily seasoned and usually prepared at least 2 days ahead of cooking time. Because it is such a large cut of meat, starting the prep early helps the meat to fully marinate and tenderize prior to cooking. A trick I learned from my grandmother when cooking roast, is to pierce the meat and put the seasonings into the center of the meat. The roast will marinate from the inside out and gives maximum flavor once cooked.
How to cook
The best part of pot-roasted Pork is that it is fully cooked in a pot on the stove. The roast does not go into the oven at all which might sound tedious but the results are nothing like the oven counterpart. It is a slow-cooked dream that requires your patience and attention but I promise, the end result is out of this world. It winds up being juicy and tender, jam packed with flavor and is absolutely delicious. I serve it with Jamaican rice and peas, cooked the same as gungo rice and peas, just with red kidney beans. I also made some classic Jamaican potato salad and fresh cabbage salad to go with this meal. Give it a try and leave me a comment about it below!
For Pot-Roasted Pork, you will need:
- Large dutch pot/oven
- Large bowl with lid
- Small bowl
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Small piercing knife
- 2 disposable gloves
- Small saucepan
- Meat thermometer
- 6lb pork shoulder
- 4 scallions (finely diced)
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 10 sprigs thyme (removed from stems)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp browning
- 1 tbsp pickapeppa sauce or fish and meat sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 veggie bouillon cube
- Wash and pat dry meat.
- Add finely diced scallions, onions and scotch bonnet pepper, fresh thyme leaves, garlic and grated ginger to a medium bowl.
- To the same bowl, add black pepper, all purpose seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and browning. Use a spoon to mix all of the ingredients in the bowl until they are fully combined.
- Place the roast in a large bowl that can be fitted with a lid or on a cutting board. Pierce the roast with a sharp knife in multiple places. Fill each piercing with the seasoning mix. Be sure to use a small knife as each piercing should be no more than ½ inch wide. Pierce roast on both sides ensuring you have made seasoning pockets on all parts of the surface. Wear gloves for this process.
- Massage the meat ensuring that the surface is also seasoned well before covering and placing the roast in the refrigerator. Allow the meat to marinate for at least 1 day.
- Before cooking the meat, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
- In a large Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon oil and allow the oil to get hot on medium-high heat. Use a spoon to scrape away any bits of seasonings that may be sitting on the surface of the meat as they will burn once they hit the oil. (onions, thyme, scallion etc). Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the hot pan and cover immediately.
- Add the liquid and seasonings left over in the marinade bowl to a small saucepan. Add 2 cups of water, a few sprigs of thyme and veggie bouillon to the saucepan. Set the pan on the stove on high heat and let it come up to a simmer. Once the marinade comes up to a simmer, remove from the heat. The marinade will serve as the basting liquid for the roast as it cooks. If you run out of water during the cooking process, add more water to the saucepan and season with salt or a bullion cube to keep the flavor.
- Uncover roast to check the level of the liquid. Add marinade water to the pot but no more than 1/2-3/4 cup at a time. Allow the liquid to cook off and turn the roast each time. If the roast sticks to the pot, use the water to help release it before trying to turn it. If you force the roast from the pot without using the marinade first you will tear the meat.
- Keep adding more marinade liquid as it cooks off. After adding liquid, turn the roast on the other side, allow the water to cook off and repeat. For this size roast, you will need to do this for roughly 1.5 to 2 hours.
- The roast is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. If you do not have a meat thermometer, pay attention to the color of the liquid that runs from the meat once it is pierced. If you pierce the meat in the center with a cooking fork, the juices should run clear.
- Remove the roast once cooked and be sure to tent with foil and rest the roast before slicing it to keep the delicious juices inside.
- Make a gravy from the pan drippings after removing the excess oil. Add any remaining seasoning marinade, ketchup, fish and meat sauce and a small amount of cornstarch slurry.
- Slice the roast, drizzle with gravy and serve hot with rice and peas and vegetables.