December 14th. Do you know, what you are having for your christmas dinner?
If you look into the homes of the danes, at their christmas dinner, you won't see many variations in the menu. You will see goose, duck and pork roast with crackling skin (flæskesteg) for the most part. This is petty much the same a hundred years ago. Danes has stuck to their traditions even though some have started eating turkey instead. The pork roast is the youngest of the christmas proteins, not counting the turkey. It became more and more popular after people got wood-fired stoves in the kitchens. Making the pork roast tradition about 120 years old.
The thing that sets the Danish pork roast apart is the crackling skin, which is so yummy. You can't get the pork roast with skin on in most stores, but I found it at my favorite butcher shop Dittmers Goumet Meats and Wurst-haus in Los Altos, CA. But you might find it at german or mexican meat shops.
I you haven't had Danish pork roast you should give it a chance, it's a yummy way to eat pork.
4-7 pound Pork roast with the skin on*
30-40 g butter
a handful coarse salt
10-14 whole black peppers
6-8 bay leaves
1 teaspoon beef base (I use the one from Better than Bouillon)
1 onion (cut into 8 pieces)
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
½ pint Water
¼ pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon blue cheese
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly (Bonne Maman)
salt & pepper
gravy browning or the the danish kulør**
Score the skin for every 5 - 7 mm. Be careful not to cut into the meat, this causes the skin to be soft. You want to have crackling skin when the roast is done.
Rub the skin with butter and salt. Make sure to get in all the cuts in the skin. This helps to get the skin crispy. Put the bay leaves and peppercorns in the cuts spread them evenly on the roast.
Curl up some tinfoil, an put it under the roast, so the roast won't tilt to one side. You want to have the top to be horizontally. Put the roast on a rack over a pan. Put herbs, onions, water and bouillon in the pan under the roast.
Roast the pork at 400℉ (200℃) for 1,5 - 2 hours. The temperature in the center has to be 167℉ before the roast is ready. Make sure that there always water in the pan. You have to use it for the gravy/sauce.
Just before the center temperature is 167℉, pour the dripping from the pan into a saucepan through a strainer, and boil the drippings for about 5 minutes. If the crackling are soft, let the roast stay in the oven. Set the oven at 527℉, or start the boiler. Keep an eye on the roast. the skin should bubble up and become crispy, be careful not to burn it.
Separate the fat from the drippings, don't use the fat (the fat is good on rye bread instead of butter, when eating herring). Add cream, blue cheese, jam and kulør (coloring). Add salt if needed. Thicken the sauce with corn starch. (cold water and corn starch)
* You can get the Danish pork roast at Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-haus in Los Altos, Ca. But you might get at a German or Mexican butcher near you.
** You can get Kulør here.