The Busy Bean

{Christmas in July-ish} Guest Post by Kristyn

Let me introduce you to a good friend of mine, and a great cook. Kristyn is one of those people I have stolen a few recipes from. She blogs over at pretty kitten, and I’m pleased to have her here to share a Christmas recipe with you.

Christmas Dinner: Balsamic Roasted Pork with Roasted Root Vegetables

Hi everyone! My name is Kristyn. I head up a blog called pretty kitten, where I write about real-life recipes and other kitchen wizardry. I was thrilled when Colleen asked me to do a guest post for her during her Christmas in July series. Well… it’s August now, but the Christmas-in-July spirit remains and I have a fantastic, simple recipe to share with you.

In my family, Christmas Eve is a big deal. We have a marvelous lasagna dinner, play games, read the nativity story from Luke 2, and open just one present. I love those traditions. Still, I’ve always felt that it leaves Christmas day in the lurch a little. I think we’re all so pooped from anticipation and preparation for the big day that once the wrapping paper is safely stowed in the recycling bin, we just want to nap.

Whether, like my family, your big meal is on Christmas Eve, or you celebrate more on the day itself, chances are you would rather spend your time being with your family and building memories than slaving over the stove all evening. That’s where this recipe comes in. With a little prep (and I do mean very little prep) you can have Christmas dinner on the table within an hour and a half. And during that time, you can enjoy family time or rest up because the oven does practically all the work.

I love the robust flavors in this meal. The dark, syrupy balsamic vinegar complements the subtly spicy seasonings. Taking the meat out when it reaches 145° results in a juicy, tender, flavorful roast. Roasting the vegetables produces beautiful caramelization and a tender texture that goes beautifully with the pork.

Sold yet? Good.

You will need:
1, 2lb. pork roast (a leaner cut, like a loin roast or tenderloin)
½ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 lb. potatoes
½ lb. carrots
1 gallon size ziplock bag
Roasting pan
Instant-read meat thermometer

Right after breakfast, whip up the marinade and get the pork marinating. Start with ½ c. balsamic vinegar: Sweet with a pronounced twang and a robust flavor. Stir in 2 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning, a fantastic, bold spice blend from McCormack, along with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and let things party for a few minutes to dissolve the salt crystals.

Then stream in ½ c. olive oil, whisking all the while.

Reserve 3 Tbsp to ¼ c. of this mixture and pour the rest over a 2 lb. pork roast (any kind will do – I usually use tenderloin or sirloin roast cuts) in a zip-top bag. Get out most of the air and seal the bag up. Squish it around a bit and set it in the fridge to marinate until dinner (8 hours, give or take).

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350° and pull out a roasting pan or pyrex casserole dish.

Wash your root veggies. I like to use about a pound of potatoes – baby red and fingerling are favorites – and about half a pound of carrots, peeled. Cut any really large potatoes into large chunks (if using baby potatoes, just cut the bigger ones in half) and chop your carrots so everything is about the same size (or use baby carrots to cut down on chopping and peeling time). Remember that marinade you reserved way back at breakfast? Pour that over your veggies and toss to coat.

Place your roast in the center of your roasting pan and arrange the veggies around it as evenly as possible.

Stick it in your preheated oven and roast until the internal temperature of your roast reaches 145° (this usually takes about an hour). No need to baste or babysit – just let it be. When your roast is cooked to 145°, take it out of the oven and cover in foil. Let rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.

While your roast is resting, return the veggies to the oven to roast a while longer (the 10 minutes while the roast rests are usually sufficient). The veggies should be fork-tender when done. Serve with rolls and a green salad – and to all a good night!

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4 Thoughts on “{Christmas in July-ish} Guest Post by Kristyn

  1. Steph on August 4, 2010 at 7:52 am said:

    Some of us who keep kosher (or are allergic to pork) wonder if these flavors would work as well with a beef or turkey roast? Would any of the directions change?

  2. That is a great question. I have never tried this recipe with a different protien. I think the flavors would probably work well with either beef or turkey, but I think the turkey sounds the most appetizing. I would also note that cooking time and internal temperature of the meat would differ if a different meat was used.
    If you try it, I would love to hear how it turned out!

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