Monday, February 16, 2009

Citrus and Basil Rib Roast

Living in the isolation of this rural hell that I call home, I don’t often have the opportunity to try different cuts of meat or unusual food items unless I pack up the car and go shopping in another city. However, no occasion, I run across something in my local store that surprises me. I even bugged them enough that they are carrying fresh mozzarella on a (fairly) regular basis now.
So, to what should my wondering eyes should appear on my recent visit? A lovely pork rib roast. I know, to probably 99% of you, that is nothing out of the ordinary, but trust me when I say, around here, it is. I know, when all is said and done, its just pork chops, but still, in my kitchen, anything different is welcome.

Here is what I did with it last night.

It took a lot longer in the oven that I anticipated, but thanks to my electric probe cooking thermometer (courtesy of the MIL last year at Christmas), I didn’t have to worry about it. It turned out fragrant, juicy, and just all around delicious. Even the hubs thought so, even though he is generally wary of anything out of his comfort zone (which is typically ANYTHING he’s never tried).

Citrus and Basil Rib Roast
1 - 5 pound rib roast
Zest of 2 lemon, and 1 orange, and their juices
5 hole cloves of garlic and three minced cloves
1 tsp basil
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a deep pan, mix the zests, juices, minced garlic, basil and olive oil together to make a marinade.
Cut a 1 inch deep slit in between each rib, close to the bone and insert one whole clove of garlic.
Put the roast in the marinade, turning to coat, and let marinate in the fridge overnight (or several hours) turning occasionally.
Scrape off any excess marinade and heat ¼ olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet or roasting pan, and brown the roast on all sides.
Roast at 350 until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow the roast to sit for 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before cutting into individual chops.
If I had had company over, I’d have made a pan sauce with what was left in the pan, it was absolutely gorgeous. I was practically licking the cutting board after I got done separating the ribs.
I was too busy licking my fingers and didn't get a shot of the luscious thing after I cut it apart, but trust me, it was beautiful.

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