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What’s Cooking in January?

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New Years is the time for resolutions. For the Bergerons, our first resolution was to start January with the traditional pork roast, black-eye peas and smothered cabbage on New Years Day. Certainly, you can’t begin the year with out good luck and prosperity can you? As for the pork roast? Well, this is the South and we do love our pork. When I was a kid, my daddy always cooked a fresh ham, which is a whole, bone-in uncooked hind leg of the pig. It takes almost all day to cook and will feed a house full of family and friends, plus it’s a great way to start off the year (not to mention a good way to soothe the after-effects of a lively New Year’s Eve). If you have a large crowd to feed I would certainly recommend my Hap Hap Happy New Year’s Pork Roast recipe.

 

Hap Hap Happy New Year’s Pork Roast

Ingredients:

– 1 fresh bone-in ham (14-18 pounds)

– 20 toes of fresh garlic, peeled and left whole

– 3 dried cayenne peppers or 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper flakes

– 1 tbsp. Black pepper with extra for outside of roast

– 4 tbsp. Salt with extra for outside of roast

– 1 cup vegetable oil

– 1 cup water

– 10 shakes of Peychaud’s bitters plus more for outside of roast

– 1 Reynolds Oven Bag, turkey size

– 1 Tbsp. flour

– 1/2 cup cornstarch

– 1 cup water

– Cooked white rice if desired

– Good luck and prosperity

Preparation:

The roast can be stuffed right before cooking but it’s best to do this night prior so the flavors can develop. Place the garlic, cayenne peppers, black pepper, salt, vegetable oil, water and bitters in a blender. Blend until all is finely pureed. Inject the roast throughout using a metal injector. If you do not have an injector, use a paring knife and cut half-inch slits around the roast and use a squeeze bottle to get the marinated in the roast. Some of the marinated will drip off and rub the excess around the roast on all sides. Season the outside of the roast with more salt and pepper. Shake the flour in the oven bag and place the roast inside. It may take more than two hands to do this so get someone to help you. Shake the bitters all over the roast and seal the bag. Cut about four slits in the bag so the steam can vent and place the ham in a large roasting pan. Bake in an oven for 325 degrees or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. This may take 5-7 hours. A general rule of thumb is 22-26 minutes per pound. Remove from oven and let roast rest for about a half hour. To make gravy take the drippings from the oven bag and place in a sauce pot with 2-4 cups of water. Taste the stock and if too salty add more water. If not salty enough add more salt. Bring this mixture to a low boil. Make slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add slowly to simmering stock and cook until thickened or about ten minutes. If gravy is still too thin make another slurry and add to mixture. Carve pork roast and serve with rice and gravy. To ensure good luck and prosperity be sure to serve with black eye peas and smothered cabbage.

 

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