Sunday, December 21, 2014

Traditional Christmas roast (oven-baked pork shoulder with honey, mustard and rosemary)

From the recipe archives (originally posted in December 2012. Still my favourite Christmas roast). My traditional Christmas roast / Traditsiooniline jõulupraad
Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the December issue of Kodu ja Aed magazine, 2012 

What's your traditional Christmas roast (assuming you're eating meat)? Turkey? Goose? Duck?

In Estonia it's definitely pork, though roast poultry has become more popular during recent years. I've been flirting with roast goose and actually served duck leg confit on Christmas Eve this year. It was delicious.

However, for years I've been serving pork roast - a pork shoulder (kaelakarbonaad in Estonian) in a mustard-honey-garlic-rosemary marinade, to be more precise. I love that it's a pretty fool-proof recipe, simple to make, with lots of flavour. And - as an added bonus - any leftovers are excellent on top of rye bread on the days after the party, or as part of a salad. So if you're not making it for a big family feast, you can still make the same amount and simply make several meals out of it.

So here you go. Nami-Nami's traditional Christmas roast. On the photo above, it's accompanied by black pudding ('blood sausages') - another traditional Christmas dish.

Wish you all a lovely festive season!!!

Traditional Christmas roast
(Ahjupraad karbonaadist)
Serves about 10

2 kg boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
3-4 Tbsp honey
3-4 Tbsp Dijon mustard or Estonian Põltsamaa mustard
2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs (leaves only)
3 large garlic cloves
2 tsp sea salt

Finely chop garlic cloves and rosemary leaves, then mix with honey and mustard until combined.
Season the meat generously with salt, then spread the mustard-honey mixture all over the pork shoulder and massage into the meat.
Place the pork shoulder into a large ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place into a fridge or cold larder for 1-2 days.
Bring back to the room temperature about an hour before you plan to cook the meat.
If you have a meat thermometer, then stick it into the thickest part of the meat (you can do this through the kitchen foil).
Roast the meat in a pre-heated 160 C / 320 F oven for about 2,5 hours or until the meat thermometer has reached 82-85 C/ 180-185 F.
If you plan to serve gravy with your meat, then pour a cup of hot water into the baking tray half-way through the cooking. 
When the meat is cooked, remove the foil, season the meat once more lightly with salt and then bake for another 10-15 minutes at about 200-220 C/ 390-425 F, just to brown the meat  a little.

Remove the roast pork from the oven, cover again with a kitchen foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving into thin slices.

This recipe was also included in my latest cookbook, Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011. 
I also included the recipe in the December 2012 issue of Kodu & Aed magazine. 

9 comments:

David said...

Hah, this is a version of what we are having tonight although molasses rather than honey.

Puhvis Kukk said...

185F for pork seems really high. I think they recommended 165 before and now reduced it to 145. I did 165 for my roast and it was definitely too dry...

Pille said...

Puhvis Kukk - for the loin filet, they recommend indeed about 65 C/150 F (indeed, a little pink is fine), but pork shoulder has usually higher temperature requirements - it's such a fatty cut and remains moist at higher temperatures as well. Chowhound etc recommend internal temperature of 180-190 F: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649726 - I quote "The collagen doesn't break down till about 185, and the meat would get dried out at anything over 210.". So the recommended 185 should be just fine - or at least it has worked brilliantly for me for years.

Pille said...

Sealiha. Kaelakarbonaad vajab sealiha jaoks ebatavaliselt kõrge sidekoesisalduse tõttu veidi pikemat küpsemist ning sisetemperatuuri tõusmist 75 või isegi 80°-ni, sama kõrget sisetemperatuuri vajavad läbiküpsemiseks ka eelsoolatud ja -maitsestatud praed; muule sealihale piisab 70°-st. (Toidutare)

Maya said...

Happy Holidays to you, Pille!

Beau Pace said...

Beautiful Review!
Thanks for all the great recipes from you
nice celebration into 2013

Camelia Raist said...

I am so pleased that I found your blog!!! My husband is estonian we live in the USA (we are moving to Estonia next year) and I always wanted to make estonian meals for him and my daughter,but never found a good source in english and if I translated myself they would get lost in translation and the results wouldn't turn out great… This year I am making the estonian dish you described in one of your posts… as well as the gingerbread cookies (which we make every year) I will, indeed, search for your book!!
Häid jõule

James Ramsden said...

Thanks! Was lovely! Merry Christmas :)

Chris C Tucker said...

I made Pille's roast with a boneless pork roast from the local butcher, for christmas eve and oh my gosh it was delish! and it came out just like her picture :)