By Rose McAvoy
Time, time, time… Where does it go and how can we get some more of it? This is likely to be a prominent feature in my writing for awhile. In juggling all there is to juggle these days, I have to think harder about how to cook smarter. At the head of the line among my go-to time savers are recipes that linger in the oven. Braising (with liquid) or roasting (without) imparts a tremendous amount of flavor into food with a minimum amount of prep time. I spend a few minutes chopping or mixing then let the oven to the heavy lifting.
This dry rub is an example of a truly minimal effort achieving maximum flavor results. Five minutes of sprinkling spices followed by a couple of hours in the oven and you’ll be seeing smiles all around. The standout flavors here are brown sugar and chili powder. Massaging the rub into a pork roast or tenderloin seals in and enhances the meat’s naturally sweet juices. There is a smooth heat from the combo of chili powder and smoky paprika balanced by molassesy brown sugar and woodsy herbs.
I prefer to roast my pork in the oven but if your busy life is spent away from home go ahead and toss that bad boy in a slow cooker. When the roast is nearing completion throw together a few quick sides. Examples: steamed rice, sautéd green beans, a frozen steam and serve microwave vegetable medley.
The rubbed roast also makes fantastic hot or cold sandwiches.
When the day’s challenges have left you completely worn out, a hot flavorful, balanced, meal can be just what the doctor ordered. It sure does wonders for me, especially on the days when I get to use both arms to eat (as opposed to juggling a baby in one arm and a knife and fork in the other).
Brown Sugar &Chili Dry Rub
Prep time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: varies by size of roast; Yield: enough to coat a 2 – 3 pound pork roast or tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry Italian herb blend
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and blend with a fork. Place roast into your pan and use hands to massage the rub into the meat. Give it a minute of loving attention and really work those spices into the tissue.
2. Use your preferred method to cook the roast. I go with a 350 degree oven, uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours for a 2 1/2 pound roast. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, remove the roast from the oven, tent with foil and let it sit for ten or more minutes. The temperature should rise to 165 degrees during that time.
Nutritional information will vary according to the size of your roast. The rub adds only a few calories to each serving of meat.