a pippin and a dish of caraway
Caraway (an under appreciated seed) smells and tastes antique like a tenement, crowberries or crown molding. In America it is most commonly used in Rye Bread, but in the pungent herbal flavor of Aquavit is where caraway sings. It lends its self well to sweets and chocolaty roasts. Its flavor is also prominent in Pumpernickel Bread which I don’t get to eat much of these days. So, I used the deconstructed ingredients of Pumpernickel (with a little nod to the Low Countries) in order to create a crust for a Pork Shoulder Roast. This rub could be used on any meat, but the fatty saltiness of pork is resilient and doesn’t argue much with the pungent frisky flavors present in the rub. (more)
I let the Pork Roast hang-out in some brining liquid I threw together. In a deep metal bowl I combined 1 fist-full of sea salt, 1 fist-full of sugar and about 3 glugs of vinegar dissolved into enough water to cover the pork completely. I also threw in about 3 peppercorns and two bay leaves. While this worked its magic (about 1 hour, a short time to brine but all that my evening afforded) I created this wonderful rub:
An Enthusiastic Caraway Crust for Roasts
1 tsp of coco powder
4 large finger grabs of dark brown sugar or caster sugar (looking for molasses flavor)
3-5 tablespoons of caraway seeds (depending upon your love for them)
three large finger grabs of a large hard granule sea salt
5 whole peppercorns
1 cardamom seed
a pinch of anise seed
a peppercorn sized hunk of nutmeg
two allspice berries
Place everything in a mortar & pestle or in a spice grinder. Work until the hulls of the caraway seeds are softened and oily, but not demolished. This should take about 3 minutes of hearty grinding with the pestle. Remove meat from brine and rinse and dry thoroughly. Roll in the crust mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Cook in oven until your meat is to your liking. My small shoulder roast was in a 375 degree oven for about an hour, which left the meat a little more done than I like (but my oven I am finding is calibrated horribly so my cooking times/temps are wack).
When the roast is done let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Reserve the pan juices (after skimming the oil off) and place in a small sauce pan with about 4 spoons of rustic apricot preserves. This will not need salt, and could even take a little water to pull back on the extreme sweet/salty or the preserves and pan stuffs. Before everything, I slow oven-roasted a green apple cut like an equator with the center star park taken out. I placed two clove stems and a peppercorn inside. I cooked these at 250 for about two hours or until soft, shriveled and caramely. I spring-a-fyed this meal with crispy romaine hearts (dressed in olive oil, s & p), the roasted apple and a newly created crisp gf peppercorn cracker creation which I will post the recipe for this Wednesday.
Falstaff: Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbor, we will eat a last year’s pippin of mine own graffing, with a dish of caraways, and so forth. Come, cousine Silence. And then to bed. g’nighkids. a