Pork: The Meat for the Modern Holiday
(Family Features) Today, some holiday celebrations might look and feel a little more modern and a little less traditional – maybe you’re getting together on the day everyone can make it; maybe you’re celebrating Christmas more than once; you might be firing up the grill instead of the oven; or perhaps you’re swapping the classic centerpiece entree for a more updated meal.
No matter how you do it, where or with whom, the unifying elements of any holiday gathering are family, friends and food. Whether or not your celebrations are about breaking traditions that are not broken, they still deserve a dish worthy of the occasion – like juicy, tender and versatile pork. Served in inspired ways with hints of global flavor, pork is the perfect meat for any holiday.
A pork roast on its own is relatively traditional – but add ingredients like bacon, Brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds, and the result is an incredibly delicious dish that bursts with contemporary flavor. The caramelized texture and taste from roasting is complemented by sweet-sour notes from the pomegranate seeds – and bacon brings it all together with a smoky finish. Serve the roast with a crisp green salad and boiled new potatoes with butter and chives.
Pork Roast with Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
- 3-4 pound New York (top loin) pork roast
- 4 slices bacon
- 5 teaspoons lemon-black pepper blend seasoning
- 3 10-ounce containers Brussels sprouts, trimmed (larger sprouts cut in half lengthwise)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (also called arils)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels, drain and cool. Reserve bacon fat. Coarsely crumble bacon.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until they turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat Brussels sprouts dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons bacon fat.
- Brush 1 tablespoon bacon fat all over pork and season with 4 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning mix. Place pork on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for 50 minutes.
- Spread Brussels sprouts around pork. Continue roasting until the internal temperature of the pork on a thermometer reads 145°F (medium rare) to 160°F (medium), about 30 minutes more (allow about 20 minutes per pound roasting time). Transfer roast to serving platter and tent with aluminum foil. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Continue roasting Brussels sprouts until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir Brussels sprouts with bacon and pomegranate seeds. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning mix and add to platter.
- Heat roasting pan over high heat until juices sizzle. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Carve pork roast and drizzle with pan juices. Serve.