Hormel pork roasts are a delicious and easy way to prepare a flavorful cut of meat. Pork roasts are available bone-in or boneless, with a mild pork flavor that takes well to a variety of seasonings and cooking methods. A Hormel pork roast can be the star of a special dinner or provide leftovers for sandwiches and other meals throughout the week. With a few simple preparation steps and cooking techniques, anyone can learn how to cook a tasty Hormel pork roast.
Selecting and Preparing the Roast
When selecting a Hormel pork roast, choose one that is about 3 pounds to feed 4-6 people. Look for a roast that is evenly shaped with a good distribution of fat throughout. The fat helps keep the meat moist and tender as it cooks. Choose a roast labeled “Pork Roast” or “Pork Shoulder Roast” for the best results.
Once home, remove the roast from the packaging and place it on a cutting board or plate. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Use a knife to trim off any large lumps of fat around the edges. Leave a thin layer of fat to help keep the meat moist. Trim any skin or silver skin membrane still attached to the roast. The roast can then be seasoned as desired.
Seasoning the Pork Roast
Seasoning is an important step for adding flavor to the pork roast. Here are some savory seasoning options:
– Rub the roast all over with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
– Make slashes across the surface of the roast and insert slivers of garlic into the cuts. Rub the roast with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper.
– Blend together Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, and fresh herbs into a paste. Spread the mixture over the pork roast.
– For a spicy kick, coat the pork roast with Cajun seasoning, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper before cooking.
Make sure to evenly coat all sides of the roast with whichever seasoning blend you choose. The seasoning adds great flavor as the pork cooks. Let the seasoned roast sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
Cooking Methods for Pork Roast
There are several excellent cooking methods that result in a juicy, flavorful Hormel pork roast.
Roasting in the Oven
Roasting uses dry oven heat to slowly cook the pork roast and is a simple hands-off cooking method. To roast:
– Preheat oven to 325°F. Place seasoned pork roast fat side up on a rack in a roasting pan.
– Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, taking care not to touch the bone.
– Roast 25-30 minutes per pound, until thermometer reads 145°F for medium doneness.
– Let roast rest 15 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.
During roasting, the fat renders to baste the meat, keeping it moist and adding flavor. Roast pork takes on delicious browned, caramelized exterior.
Braising on the Stovetop
Braising uses a small amount of liquid to cook pork roast in a covered pot on the stovetop or in the oven. To braise Hormel pork roast:
– Dredge seasoned roast in flour, shaking off excess. Brown roast well on all sides in a skillet with oil.
– Transfer roast to Dutch oven or braising pot. Add 1 cup chicken broth, beef broth, or water.
– Bring liquid to a boil then cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer roast about 2 hours until very tender.
The braising liquid keeps the pork roast succulent. Feel free to add vegetables like onions, carrots, potatoes, or celery to the braising liquid as well. They soak up wonderful flavor.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Pulled pork sandwiches are a great way to use Hormel pork roast. Cook the roast low and slow in a slow cooker with flavorful spices and sauce until it can be shredded.
– Place 3-4 lb pork roast and 1 cup barbecue sauce or chili sauce in a slow cooker. Add seasonings like chili powder, cumin, garlic, and pepper.
– Cook on low heat 7-8 hours until extremely tender. Shred pork with two forks.
– Pile shredded pork onto buns and serve with extra sauce for amazing pulled pork sandwiches.
The long cooking time allows the connective tissue in pork shoulder roast to completely break down into succulent pulled pork.
Complementary Side Dishes
What are some tasty side dishes that pair perfectly with Hormel pork roast? Consider these flavorful options:
– Roasted potatoes – Toss halved potatoes in oil, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and roast alongside pork.
– Mashed potatoes – Boil and mash russet or Yukon gold potatoes with butter, milk, and seasonings.
– Scalloped potatoes – Slice potatoes thin, layer with cream and cheese, and bake until tender.
– Glazed carrots – Simmer peeled baby carrots in butter, brown sugar, garlic, and herbs.
– Green beans – Sauté green beans with olive oil, garlic, and toasted almonds.
– Roasted Brussels sprouts – Toss halved Brussels sprouts in oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and roast.
– Dinner rolls – Warm flaky rolls or biscuits to soak up juices and gravy.
– Cornbread – Bake a skillet of savory cornbread lightly sweetened with honey.
– Popovers – Serve eggy, hollow popovers hot from the oven.
Gravy and Sauces for Pork Roast
A flavorful gravy or sauce enhances the pork roast dinner. Make a pan sauce from the delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan after cooking the pork.
– Place roasting pan with drippings over two burners on medium heat. Stir to loosen browned bits from pan bottom.
– Whisk in 2 cups chicken or beef broth, scraping any browned bits. Add any juices from resting roast.
– Whisk in 2 Tbsp flour dissolved in 2 Tbsp water. Simmer until gravy thickens. Season with salt, pepper, herbs.
Apple Cider Sauce
– In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup apple cider, 1 tsp cornstarch, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp mustard, 1⁄4 tsp cinnamon.
– Whisk together and simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens.
Hoisin Plum Sauce
– In a saucepan, combine 1⁄2 cup hoisin sauce, 1⁄4 cup plum sauce, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp minced ginger.
– Simmer 5 minutes and drizzle over sliced pork roast.
Here are some tips for serving up the finished Hormel pork roast dinner:
– Let roasted pork rest at least 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute through the meat. Slice against the grain into 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick slices.
– Arrange sliced pork on a serving platter with roasted vegetables and potatoes. Ladle gravy over the meat or pass gravy and sauces at the table.
– For pulled pork, pile shredded pork high on burger buns or slider rolls. Serve additional barbecue sauce on the side. Pair with coleslaw and baked beans.
– Turn leftover pork into tacos, nachos, flatbread pizza, sandwiches, omelets, fried rice, soup, or pasta dishes throughout the week.
– Chill and freeze any uneaten leftover pork in an airtight container up to 3 months.
Cooking a tasty Hormel pork roast is easy with the right techniques. Select and prepare a 3 pound roast, seasoning it generously with spices, herbs, and aromatics. Roast in the oven to medium doneness or braise on the stovetop until fork tender. Pair with roasted vegetables, potatoes, breads, and a flavorful gravy or sauce. Rest the pork before slicing and serve while hot. Use leftovers in a variety of delicious dishes. With flavorful seasoning and the proper cooking method, Hormel pork roast makes a fabulous entrée any night of the week.