peppercorn vermouth pork roastYes, this heading is a mouthful. In so many ways.

Early November has been kind of slow, with Adam working on my computer, the holidays not quite underway, and school projects not quite ready for posting. My circle quilt is at a standstill until the zipper foot I had to order arrives. But I have a backlog of recipes waiting to go up, so I’m doing another Recipe-A-Day-Week like I had in May. First up is this roasted pork from the September 2009 issue of Gourmet. Next time I make this, I really need to remember to marinate it the day before I’m going to cook it. This was supposed to be last night’s dinner, but I forgot the whole 8-24 hours of marinating thing.

The pork was delicious and awesomely tender, but I didn’t dig the pepper. I’m not sure if a spice grinder would have helped, either. In the Gourmet photo the roast is black crusted with pepper. I would have preferred a simpler roast with some less sharp herbs, but I can’t deny that the pork itself came out amazing. I didn’t think I could make a tender pork roast, and this proved me wrong.

Peppercorn Roasted Pork With Vermouth Pan Sauce (adapted from 9/09 Gourmet)
This version is half of the original, so it’s a good size roast for 3-4 people (or 2 with lunch leftovers).

3 tablespoons pink peppercorns, divided
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3/4 tablespoons fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-lb) boneless pork shoulder roast (butt end)
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
.5 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
.5 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Special Equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder **I don’t have one of these, so I used one of those Jamie Oliver shaker things for spices. It didn’t break up the black peppercorns, so if you don’t like them whole (I love them whole) get a spice grinder.
Grind 1/8 cup pink peppercorns with black peppercorns and fennel seeds in grinder.
grinding pork peppercorns
Then stir together with garlic, oil, and 1/2 tablespoon salt.
peppercorn mix
Pat pork dry and use a paring knife to make about 16 (1-inch-deep) slits all over roast. Stuff slits with all but 1 Tbsp garlic-peppercorn paste.
stuffing with peppercorn mix
Then rub remaining Tbsp all over roast. Put in a small (13- by 9-inch) flameproof roasting pan and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.
Let pork stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Roast pork, fat side up, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 150°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes.
resting roast
Meanwhile, pour off all but about 1 Tbsp fat from roasting pan. Add vermouth to pan and boil, scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes.
vermouth and bits
Stir in broth, any meat juices from cutting board, and remaining 2 Tbsp pink peppercorns and boil until reduced to about 11/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
vermouth sauce
Knead together butter and flour, then whisk into sauce and boil, whisking constantly, until just slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Serve pork with sauce.