With the busy schedule we live (even though I work from home) I try my best to have a family meal on Sundays. And it seems that too is becoming harder to schedule with our girls being older now and having so many plans of their own. I remember how nice it was to have a Sunday lunch (probably the most important meal in the Caribbean) with everyone when we were growing up on the islands. The scent, the food, family being together and the “ethnic fatigue” that makes you want to sleep after that amazing meal. Though our girls may never experience that, at least they will recall Sunday dinners when they grow up and have a family of their own. Do you have a tradition when it comes to meals? Leave me your comments below.
1 pork loin roast, about 4-5 pounds (you can use boneless, but I like the extra flavour from the one with the bone intact)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground is best)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce (or Tabasco)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons fresh squeezed)
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
Note: This in NOT a traditional dish from Trinidad and Tobago, but I’m positive you’ll love it.
Note: Many pork loins you get at the butcher or grocery may have the fat trimmed off it. If you can, get a cut with a thin layer of fat on the top (see my pic below) While it cooks in the oven that fat will help keep the meat from becoming too dry.
Start by preparing the baste well be using, by combining all the ingredients (except the pork) in a medium saucepan and then bring it to a boil. Allow it to simmer for about 7-10 minutes. I use a whisk to help everything mix together properly.
Then preheat your oven to about 325 while your baste simmers. I also wash the meat off with some cool water and dry it off before placing into my roasting pan. If you don’t have a pan with a cover, you’ll need some aluminum foil to tent the pan to seal in the juices while it roasts for the first couple hours.
Now your oven should be ready. Spoon some of the baste we just made onto the pork loin, cover the pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Let that cook for about 2 hrs at the temp we set. Continue basting (spoon on) every 25 minutes or so. In my case I like pouring the entire basting liquid I prepared into the roasting pan and baste from that. Please note that since we used vinegar in the liquid, you will get a strong smell every time you open the roasting pan. Vinegar is one of those things our noses are very particular about, since we don’t use it as much in the Caribbean as it’s done in North America. Don’t be alarmed… your entire house will have a wonderful smell as this slowly cooks away in the oven.
Allow this to cook for about 2 hours, then remove the lid and allow it to cook for another 30-45 minutes with the lid off. Remember to keep basting. With the lid off you’ll notice that the fat (BTW, place the fat side up in the pan when roasting) will start to get dark and almost look as if it’s burning. Don’t worry about that. That’s added flavour 🙂
1. After removing from the oven, allow the meat to rest a bit before slicing. This will allow any juices to redistribute back to the meat and help the meat itself relax.
2. The sauce at the bottom of the pan will be a bit tangy from the lemons and vinegar. It’s up to you to use it as a drizzle on the slices of roasted pork. But I find that our girls don’t really care for it.
So guess what I’m having for lunch today? Yes, roast pork sandwiches with a garlic/mayo/mustard sauce and slices of red onions.
Let me know if you have any questions by leaving me a message in the comments box below.